Thai Airways International plans to operate its own freighters in future, says the airline's executive vice president (commercial) Pruet Boobphakam.

"That will be the future. We need a full cargo business to be a complete airline," he says on the sidelines of the 53rd assembly of presidents of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.

The cargo arm will have its own profit and loss statement, making it a business in its own right, he adds.

Thailand is an export driven market but there is no dedicated cargo airline in the country.

Contrary to earlier reports, the carrier does not plan to covert its Boeing 747s and Airbus A300s to freighter aircraft because they are too old, he says.

"Our 747s are older than 18 years, that's not viable for conversion. It will cost up to $20 million to convert one plane," says Boobphakam, adding that the aircraft will be sold.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news