Thai Airways International (THAI) expects to turn a profit this month after losing money for three consecutive years, the airline’s president has revealed.
Charamporn Jotikasthira attributed the turnaround to stronger sales backed by cost cutting.
Charamporn said that THAI had hired foreign consultants, on four-year contracts, to help improve marketing. Foreigners were chosen because 65% of the airline’s revenue originated in foreign countries.
International experts were also working to restructure THAI and streamline its business processes, he said.
An article in the Bangkok Post quoted Charamporn forecasting that passenger load factors are on track to reach at least 80%, which would be seven points above the level they have hovered at for a long time.
THAI’s belt tightening has involved early-retirement schemes for staff, decommissioning 20 older aircraft, closing four overseas sales offices and terminating four routes.
Charamporn estimates those measures will slash THAI’s expenses this year by about THB 5 billion (AUD 345 million).
THAI executive vice president for finance, Narongchai Wongthanavimok, told the Bangkok Post that THAI cut about THB 8 billion (AUD 306.5 million) from its costs this year, partially though axing weak-performing routes.
THAI’s board has approved sales of airline property worldwide, mostly sales offices and staff accommodation in countries where THAI no longer flies. Properties in Denmark, Indonesia, Singapore and Spain are in the process of being sold.
THAI’s current debts reportedly stand at about THB 200 billion (AUD 7.6 billion).
Written by Peter Needham