Thai Airways International is restructuring its global network with many unprofitable routes being terminated, in an effort to cut continuing losses. This also reduces cargo capacity offered to the market.
In Europe, Madrid is likely to be abandoned in the autumn while the double-daily frequency to London has been reduced to only one flight per day.
Other already closed routes from Bangkok include Johannesburg in January, Moscow since the end of March, as well as Phuket-Seoul.
Out of the red by next year?
Following its restructuring, the airline is expected to become profitable again by 2016, Kulit Sombatsiri, Director-General of the State Enterprise Policy Office, was quoted as saying.
Scaling down biz activities
The airline is due to retire the oldest aircraft from its fleet and reduce staff by voluntary retirement. It will also divest its non-core assets such as hotels or catering activities in non-aviation sectors. New aircraft deliveries are likely to be also delayed.
Freighter ops have been terminated
According to a recent CAPA report, Thai’s freighter services with two converted B747-400Fs ended on March 31, 2015.
In 2014, Thai’s dedicated freighter network only covered the long-haul points of Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Stopovers, most commonly in Delhi, allowed other cargo to be picked up, but Thai mostly operated a point-to-point cargo network that heavily overlapped with its passenger business, CAPA noted.
After Frankfurt Thai’s most common freight points were Taipei and Tokyo. Thai in recent times has heavily expanded its passenger business to Japan, creating more belly-hold capacity.
CAPA said that Thai’s home airport of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi has lost momentum as a cargo hub with 2014 and 2013 volumes down compared to growth at Hong Kong and Seoul Incheon.
Nol van Fenema