VIENTIANE – The Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality presented Passports to Success to 28 Lao Airlines personnel, who successfully completed customer service skills-training courses, during a ceremony staged at the national carrier’s new office complex at Vientiane’s Wattay International Airport on 9 October.
Passport to Success engineer Mike Loose, Technical Advisor, Industry Training for Lanith opened the event by noting that Lao Airlines was the first business to embrace the Passport to Success.
“I remember Lao Airlines was our first participant in March 2011, and plenty has happened since. Last year’s ceremony took place in a small room, and now we’re in this big, beautiful building’s meeting room with modern equipment for its first event.”
He pointed out that this infrastructure development, the newly acquired Airbus A320 aircrafts, and the airline’s international route expansion goes hand in hand with Lanith’s Passport to Success progress. The program has some 700 holders nationwide, and the number grows every week.
Soulasak Souvannasy, the airline’s Administrative Department’s Deputy Director, said the training aimed to teach employees – check-in staff, ticket salespeople, and flight attendants – how to solve problems for different cultures.
“They need to learn how to act, respond, and make decisions. To effectively do this, they need to know about different cultures,” he said.
From 17-26 September, Lao Airline staff partook in three training modules: Working Efficiently with Colleagues and Customers, Conflict Management, and Telephone Communications. Those who successfully completed the courses had their achievements recorded with a stamp in their Passport to Success booklet.
Lao Airlines Ground Operations Supervisor Dokmai Phimmasong said the Lanith program is extremely useful.
“During the training, we gained experience on how to better serve foreign customers and better understand different cultures,” she said. “I’ve already received positive feedback from customers, and I can now deal with situations and resolve conflicts.”
The carrier’s Vice President, Finance and Accounting, Leuangsamay Leuangvanxay, who presented the Passports to Success to the staff, said, “We are proud to work with Lanith, as their goal is to train our workforce to deliver service quality, which is very important for Laos.”
She added, “The Passport to Success is in line with our ISO certification and leads to passenger satisfaction…Our staff needs to help Lao tourism by giving a 100% effort. This helps the country progress, while trying to reach the US$1 billion tourism revenue goal for 2015.”
Mr Loose stated, “I still remember meeting Mr Soulasak and discussing what we can do to make Lao Airlines the biggest stakeholder in the Passport to Success program. Since then, our relationship has been very fruitful, and works very, very well.”
He told the Lao Airlines staff, “You should be proud to be Passport to Success ambassadors. Remember, you may be the first person that a foreigner meets when coming to Laos.”
Mr Loose added that the airline’s staff adds credibility to and creates demand for the Lanith program, while pointing out that the Passport to Success is now biggest industry training program in Laos, and is showing fast progress.