Thai AirAsia is the one true leader in low-fare air travel, which is why from the very beginning, efficient capital management and constant development have been ingrained in our blood. We believe thorough consideration and careful decision-making can help reduce costs, while new ideas and approaches to managing the business can lead to an endless supply of new opportunities.
In 2018, we challenged ourselves by taking on new and varied marketing methods including devoting great importance to the drivers of our organisation, our "employees". We started by empowering our employees and boosting their happiness so that they would be ready for work. It can be seen now that our employees have adopted our unique values, or as we call them the 4 Sor which covers sanook (fun), style, synergy and sustainability. Their adoption of this concept has created a strong image for our organisation as it has enriched how our employees deliver the products and services. Our employees are our capital and by enhancing their capabilities, we improve our drive towards sustainability.
It was our unity that allowed us this year to overcome challenges such as the heightened global fuel price and a slump in Chinese tourists to Thailand, and instead find new opportunities in the Indian and CLMV markets. By the end of 2018, Thai AirAsia had served 21.57 million passengers with a Load Factor average of 85 percent and increased its fleet to 62 aircraft. At the start of 2019, we added Chiang Rai as our 7th domestic flight hub after Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Krabi, U-Tapao and Hat Yai. Most importantly, we all continue to be energised and steady on the course of growing Thai AirAsia for years to come.
The year 2019 marks Thai AirAsia's the 16th year of operation and we are confident that we will continue to stride forward with strength. We are always evaluating the health of our business and make our sustainability reports the public knowledge, preparing us to tackle any situation that may arise. Allow me to assure you that Thai AirAsia continues to be a worthy company for investment with a bright future of growth and thank you for joining us on our journey.
Mr. Santisuk Klongchaiya
Chief Executive Officer