LONDON – Thai Airways has reported a significant loss of $275 million in the 12 months of 2018.

The airline recorded a 3.9% increase in revenue to $6.06 billion. Regional revenues were up 2.4% to $2.6 billion, with international up 3.3% at $1.86 billion.

However, Domestic revenue took a nose dive by 15.3% to $299.4 million. Cargo numbers rose 10.3% to $678.9 million highlighting significant demand in that market still.

In terms of operating costs for the airline, it went up in total 10.3% to $6.33 billion total.

Out of this, fuel was the heavy hitter, with it rising 19.7% to $1.82 billion and labour rising 3.9% to $938.2 million.

Load factors decreased from 79.2% in 2017 to 77.6% in 2018, with the total number of passengers also decreasing by one percentage point to 24.3 million.

The airline received five new Airbus A350-900 aircraft, while it placed two Boeing 737-400s out of service, meaning that the airline had 103 aircraft as of December 31, 2018.

In terms of the year ahead, the carrier is very confident about success generating into profit.

“In 2019, THAI plans to generate more aggressive revenues and make various improvements including modernized and competitive fleet, services enhancements from ground to sky, commercial strategies: digital marketing and ancillary revenues, business expansion such as Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) at U-Tapao Airport as well as human resource improvement and appropriate financial restructuring”, the statement said.

Thai Airways

This has been a problem for Thai for a while now, especially as it had to adopt a transformation plan back in 2018 to “solve the negative retained earnings and enable THAI to generate future sustainable profit”.

Therefore, this loss was probably somewhat to be expected by the management of the airline.

However, this does not mean that the carrier can slump. With the plan being implemented, the results for the airline going to the end of the first quarter should hopefully be better, otherwise it will be down to the year-end financials to determine this success.