September 30, 2022
Thai Airways Sells Five Stored A340s
Airlines Industry

Thai Airways Sells Five Stored A340s

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DALLAS – Thai Airways (TG) has sold five Airbus A340 series aircraft that have been sitting idle for 15 years. The jets were sold for Bt350m (US$13m), a figure well above their current assessed value. However, selling these four-engine jets was no easy task as TG had already decommissioned them.

As reported by The Nation Thailand, the country’s national newspaper, Cherdphan Chotikhun, Chief Technical Officer of TG, said the airline has sold one A340-500 and four A340-600s to a buyer who has already signed a contract to acquire the planes.

A number of aircraft were removed from service as part of the airline restructuring plan. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways.

A Challenging Sale

“After we entered the rehabilitation programme, we could disclose full information about the planes and we are now open to prospective buyers with transparency,” Cherdphan said.

“In the past, we were bound by regulations of state firms, which gave us almost no chance to sell the decommissioned planes. As a result, THAI had to shoulder the cost burden of the decommissioned planes for years,” he added.

TG was hit hard due to the pandemic and filed for protection after a debt of bt245bn (US$6.8bn) hit them in 2019. A so-called rehabilitation program was later created to get the carrier back on its feet in May 2020. As part of the restructuring plans, one of its plans was to remove older aircraft from the fleet. Besides the fresh deal of the A340s, the carrier also sold an old Boeing 737-400 and 10 Boeing 747-400, earning bt2bn (US$54m).

The airline is also selling a number of Boeing 777s. Photo: Nick Sheeder/Airways

Other Aircraft For Sale

Cherdphan also said THAI still has four decommissioned A340s and the airline was now negotiating with prospective buyers.

THAI had initially bought ten A340s in 2003, most of which were used on direct flights from the Thai capital Bangkok (BKK) to New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX), both ultra long haul routes didn’t do justice to TG and accumulated a bt7bn (US$192m) loss in a three-year span.

Once Thai started to decommission these aircraft, the Royal Thai Air Force bought one A340-500, while the rest, a mix of -500s and -600s lay idle at the nearby U-Tapao Airport (UTP).

TG also plans to hang the “for sale” board on 12 Boeing 777s (six -300s and six -200s), plus two Airbus A380s. It will also reactivate some aircraft from storage. Two Boeing 777-200ER and three A330-300s are expected to be airworthy by the end of the year.

“We are confident we can sell them all. We now know where to find buyers and our sale method is transparent and we have experience in how to do it,” Cherdphan said.

Featured Image: Thai Airways A340-600 (HS-TNA). Photo: Aero Icarus from Zürich, SwitzerlandCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Commercial pilot | Flight Instructor | Aviation Journalist & writer.

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