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Thai Airways to complete restructuring process in 2024 despite ongoing issues  

Thai Airways International (Thai) has announced that it expects to complete its current restructuring process later in 2024. The process began in 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Bangkok-based carrier struggled to keep control of its debts and operating costs as the health crisis took hold and traffic figures plummeted. 

The new announcement came as the carrier released its latest set of results for the first quarter of 2024 (Q1 2024). The carrier added that it aims to regain a positive trading position in 2024 which will allow the company to return to a stock market listing, seen as key to the future growth of the carrier. 

The embattled carrier was forced to file for bankruptcy protection in 2020 as its financial position was decimated by the collapse in air travel during the pandemic. However, over the four intervening years, the company has undertaken a wide-ranging restructuring process across its entire organization and operation, with the primary goal being to turn around the airline’s financial position.  

“[The restructuring process] has enabled the company to enhance its capability to generate revenue and support the growing passenger volumes stemming from the aviation industry’s recovery, thereby increasing revenue-generating efficiency for the company,” Thai said in a statement.  

Although the carrier reported a full-year net profit for 2023, its first in several years, the Q1 2024 results were not quite in line with what the airline’s board may have wished them to be. In the quarter ending March 31, 2024, Thai remained in the black. However, an overall increase in operating costs, paired with a reduction in restructuring gains, took a chunk out of its profitability. 

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For Q1 2024, the airline reported a quarterly net profit of Bt2.4 billion ($65.2 million). While still in the black, this figure represents an 80% drop compared to the year-on-year figure for Q1 2023.  

Notwithstanding this setback, revenues rose around 11% year-on-year to Bt46 billion ($1.25bn), with passenger revenues rising by approximately 10%. The airline carried almost 3.9 million passengers during the quarter, representing a 10% increase on the same period in 2023. Both traffic and capacity also grew around 10%, while passenger yields held firm, matching 2023 levels.  

Elsewhere, the airline saw operating costs increase by a substantial 22.5% to Bt34.9 billion ($953mn). This rise was driven largely by non-fuel-related costs, which peaked at 33.7% higher than the same period in 2023. In particular, the cost of maintenance was an area where the carrier saw the most increase, due largely to soaring engine maintenance costs, along with other expenses associated with the entry of new aircraft entering the company’s aircraft fleet. 

According to ch-aviation, Thai currently operates a fleet of 75 aircraft and is due to take delivery of another Boeing 787-9, plus three additional Airbus A350-900s, in the quarter ending June 30, 2024. The entry into service of these new aircraft should allow the carrier to commence new long-haul routes to Europe, serving Milan and Oslo from Bangkok.  

Additionally, at the 2024 Singapore Air Show, Thai placed an order for 45 additional 787s, plus options for up to 35 more aircraft, bolstering its regional and long-haul fleets further. The first of these new aircraft is due to be delivered in 2027.  

The post Thai Airways to complete restructuring process in 2024 despite ongoing issues   appeared first on AeroTime.

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