Sale of Thai A340-500 in limbo

Singapore
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The sale of a Thai Airways Airbus A340-500 to a private buyer appears to be in limbo over a disagreement on the price of the aircraft.

Thai Airways’ president Sorajak Kasemsuvan says in a statement that UK-based aviation consulting firm, AvCon Worldwide, had proposed to buy one of the four A340-500s that were decommissioned in November 2012.

Local media reports indicate the aircraft bears the registration HS-TLD (MSN 775), a 2006 vintage aircraft.

AvCon initially offered the airline $35 million for the aircraft and made a $2.5 million security deposit. Following an inspection, however, the offer was reduced to $23.5 million as the aircraft was due for heavy maintenance and two of its engines were “in an imperfect condition,” Kasemsuvan says.

An internal committee in charge of the sale proposed raising the price, but this was rejected by AvCon.

As the sale had not been approved by the carrier’s board of directors, it has since instructed Thai’s management to reconsider if the aircraft should be sold or re-enter operations. AvCon has since been requested to collect the returned security deposit, but has failed to do so, says Thai.

Media reports Kasemsuvan as saying that the airline would incur a loss of more than $40 million, had the sale gone through.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database shows that as of 31 December 2012 HS-TLD has 21,860h on its airframe and 2044 cycles, and had a current market value of $38.25 million.

The Ascend database also indicates that the other three A340-500s listed for sale are stored at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport. These are registered as HS-TLA, -TLB and -TLC (MSNs 624, 628 and 698).