DALLAS – As Thai Airways (TG) sees its balance sheets in green, it’s time to get flying and for this, it is bringing back its older jets to meet demand – the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777-200s. The carrier expects revenue of up to 80 billion Thai baht in revenue now that travel restrictions have been relaxed and foreigners have started returning to Thailand.
The past few years have been tragic for the Thai carrier and, of course, the pandemic has made it worse. It logged an extreme loss of nearly 3 billion USD and filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2020. Ever since the airline has been shelving staff and aircraft, a much-needed restructuring plan was imperative, and it did so.
Fast forward two years to today. The restructuring plan for TG has worked well and is only getting better. The carrier’s average daily passenger numbers increased sixfold from January to around 12,600 for the month of June; the load factor shot up as well, to 75%. TG also said it expects to resume trading on the stock market in 2025.
Nond Kalinta, THAI’s executive vice president for commercial, said, “We believe this year’s high season will see the highest number of passengers in the last two years. The airline expects 4.48 million passengers for the whole year and a total income of 80 billion baht thanks to the lifting of travel restrictions for foreigners since July 1.”
Thai Fleet Shuffle
As part of the restructuring plan, TG has to significantly reduce its active fleet and also completely stop four-engine aircraft. Just four types of aircraft remained active – The Boeing 787-8/9,777 (mostly the 300ER) and the A350-900. Considering its subsidiary Thai Smile, the A320 too.
As part of the latest development at Thai to bring back its older jets, three A330-300s of a total of nine will rejoin the fleet as well as two more Boeing 777-200ER. These reactivated planes will be used predominantly around the region on high-demand routes to South Korea, Singapore, and Japan.
You’d be surprised to know the overall fleet size of this legacy carrier, one might think it’s a hundred or above but it’s just 43 as of today. Thai still has the Boing 747-400 and the Airbus A380 sitting on the ground but hasn’t hinted anything about their return.
Featured image: Nick Sheeder/Airways