Thai Airways International expects to wrap up its restructuring this year, capping off close to four years of business rehabilitation following the Covid-19 pandemic.

In comments following the release of its first-quarter results, the carrier adds that it aims to return to positive equity this year, allowing it to resume trading on the stock exchange. 


Source: Wikimedia Commons

Thai Airways remained profitable in the first quarter of the year

An embattled Thai filed for bankruptcy protection in 2020 as it was heavily impacted by a collapse in air travel during the pandemic. 

Since then, it has undertaken a wide-ranging restructuring exercise aimed at turning around its finances. The airline swung to a full-year net profit in 2023, amid restructuring gains and travel recovery. 

In the quarter ended 31 March, Thai remained in the black, though an increase in costs – coupled with a reduction in restructuring gains – ate into its profitability.

It reported a quarterly net profit of Bt2.4 billion ($65.2 million), down 80% compared to the year-ago period, where it recorded gains from restructuring and foreign exchange rates. 

Revenue rose about 11% year on year to Bt46 billion, with passenger revenues up about 10%. Thai carried close to 3.9 million passengers during the quarter, representing a 10% increase against the year-ago period. Traffic and capacity both grew around 10% as well, with passenger yields holding steady against 2023 levels. 

Meanwhile, the airline saw a 22.5% jump in operating costs to Bt34.9 billion. Non-fuel related costs led the increase, at 33.7% higher than the year-ago period. Thai saw the sharpest rise in maintenance-related costs, which it attributes to an increase of engine maintenance, coupled with an uptick in MRO activity with new aircraft entering its fleet. 

As at end-March, the airline had 73 in-service aircraft. It expects to take delivery of a sole Boeing 787-9, as well as three Airbus A350-900s in the quarter ending 30 June, which it says will allow it to resume operations to Milan and Oslo in Europe. 

At the 2024 Singapore air show, the airline placed an order for 45 787s, plus options for up to 35 more aircraft, which will be delivered from 2027. 

“This has enabled the company to enhance its capability to generate revenue and support the growing passenger volumes stemming from the aviation industry’s recovery, thereby increasing revenue-generating efficiency for the company,” states Thai.