Thai Airways narrowed its second-quarter loss, as passenger travel demand soared with the reopening of borders.
The embattled national carrier, which is undergoing business restructuring, posted an operating loss of Bt1.3 billion ($36.6 million) for the quarter to 30 June, narrowing the Bt4.4 billion loss in 2021.
Revenue for the quarter increased three-fold to Bt21.5 billion, with passenger revenue registering a 14-time jump year on year.
The carrier flew nearly seven times more passengers in the quarter, at just over 2 million, with capacity quadrupling year on year.
Thai Airways doubled its quarterly expenses, with operational costs increasing with the ramp-up of flights. The Star Alliance carrier adds that an increase in fuel prices is driving its expenses up.
Thai Airways swung back to a net loss of Bt3.2 billion for the quarter, compared to the Bt23.3 billion net profit in 2021. It attributes this to losses on foreign currency exchange, as well as one-time asset impairment costs.
Some of the losses were offset by one-time revenue, mainly from gains on debt restructuring, as well as gains on sales of investment and assets.
On a half-year basis, Thai Airways and its subsidiaries also narrowed its operating loss, from 2021’s Bt11.4 billion to this year’s Bt4.5 billion.
Revenue, at Bt32.7 billion, was over three times higher year on year, outpacing a 72% increase in costs to Bt37.1 billion.
In its outlook, the carrier says it will continue to increase frequencies across its international network, as Thailand moves to fully reopen the country on 1 July.
On its ongoing rehabilitation plans, the carrier states: “[Thai Airways] has revised its business plan and increased revenue resulting in…better cash flow levels in operations that have changed significantly. Therefore, the requested level for new loans has decreased from the original.”
“[It is] a significant step in laying the foundation for THAI’s growth and profits-making capability in the future for sustaining Thai as a national flag carrier, the main airline bringing profit to the country, and the main resource to support and promote the recuperation of Thai economic recovery in the upcoming period,” it adds.
THAI AIRASIA PARENT WIDENS LOSSES
Separately, the parent company of compatriot Thai AirAsia widened its second-quarter operating losses, despite a significant rise in revenues with borders reopening.
For the period, Asia Aviation was Bt5 billion in the red, compared to the second-quarter loss of Bt2.8 billion in 2021.
The company’s revenues for the quarter rose more than two-fold to Bt2.8 billion, while costs doubled year on year to nearly Bt7.8 billion.
Asia Aviation blames the spike in fuel prices for the hefty expenses in the quarter, with costs of sales and services, as well as MRO expenses, also increasing as the airline ramped up operations.
Still, the company says it is optimistic of better prospects this year, with domestic tourism expected to lead the recovery.
“Currently, Thai AirAsia aims to resume its domestic capacity level close to that in the end of 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. The opening of more international routes is being considered along with the opening plan of the destination country,” it states.