Thai Airways’ Q2 net loss widens on currency woes

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Thai Airways International recorded a consolidated net loss of baht (Bt)8.43 billion ($270 million) for the second quarter as appreciation of the Thai currency and weakness in the European air cargo market weighed heavily on the carrier.

The Star Alliance carrier's loss for the three months to 30 June 2013 was more than five times higher than that recorded for the same period in the prior year, when it recorded a net loss of Bt1.47 billion. This is primarily due to a Bt4.2 billion loss on foreign currency exchange.

The airline's operating loss increased by 89% from Bt1.54 billion to Bt2.9 billion as revenues declined by 1.8% to Bt47.1 billion. Operating expenditure increased by 1.1% to Bt 50 billion, which was attributed to a rise in traffic production and higher staff costs.

Passenger and excess baggage revenue for the airline was reduced by 0.9% to Bt38.8 billion, while freight and mail revenue fell by nearly 12% to Bt5.9 billion. The latter was attributed to weakness in the global economy.

Thai's cash and cash equivalents amounted to Bt14.9 billion at the end of the period.

During the three month period, the airline took delivery of one Airbus A330-300 and two Boeing 777-300ERs and returned three 777s that were under operating lease from Jet Airways. The carrier also decommissioned one A300-600 and a 747-400, leaving it with a net active fleet of 95 aircraft.

At the end of the quarter, Thai had 16 aircraft listed as being held for sale, comprising two 747-400s, four 737-400s, four A340-500s, four A300-600s and two ATR 72s.