MIAMI – To become more effective, Thai Airways (TG) aims at significantly cutting its workforce and fleet size, in line with its recovery strategy. 

The President of TG, Chansin Treenuchagron, announced that the airline intended to decrease its workforce from 13,000 to 15,000 by 2025.

The airline has already reduced its workforce to 19,500 due to the ongoing pandemic’s impact on the aviation industry. TG is also considering placing an additional 6,000 workers on leave by the end of 2021. TG also recently announced the elimination of 240 management roles and a reduction in supervisory ranks.

In addition to the staff reductions, TG also intends to decrease its fleet of 103 to 86 jets by 2025. This will decrease the number of aircraft types in use to only five, instead of the previous 12.

This decision will enable the carrier to streamline its operations and reduce its costs by creating a more uniform fleet. The retirement of its older aircraft will also reduce maintenance costs.

Thai Airways Boeing 777 | Photo: Nick Sheeder/Airways

Looking ahead for TG

Treenuchagron said during a briefing at Bangkok: “Thai Airways had challenges due to heavy competition from low budget airlines, open sky policies, and the global pandemic”

According to its financial results, TG experienced a severe record loss of US$4.05bn in 2020.

The reduction of staff and fleet size is a key decision, designed to reduce costs and make the ailing airline more effective. The proposed adjustments are outlined in the recently tabled Thai Airways Recovery Plan. Both the creditors of the airline and the Central Bankruptcy Court of Thailand will have to first agree to this plan.

Aero Time reports that the airline has been trying to sell its ten Boeing 747 passenger planes to alleviate the impact of COVID-19.

Rumors circulated in February 2021 that the aircraft sale was part of a proposal to modernize the fleet by the end of 2025; an effort to replace, sell or decommission older planes to make space for next generation aircraft. Thai Airways has dismissed reports of an aircraft purchase.

Featured Photo: Alberto Cucini