Thai Airways narrowed its operating losses in 2021, while revenue declined sharply from 2020.

In the full-year to 31 December 2021, Thai posted an operating loss of Bt19.7 billion ($604 billion), compared with an operating loss of Bt35.4 billion a year earlier, says the carrier.

Thai Airways 787-8

Source: Wikimedia Commons

A Thai Airways 787-8 in May 2019

Revenues for the year fell 51% to Bt23.7 billion.

Still, Thai was able to swing to a 2021 net profit of Bt55.1 billion from a net loss of Bt140 billion. The swing was mainly attributable to a Bt61.8 billion gain from Thai’s debt restructuring programme, as well as other line items.

During 2021 travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic saw Thai carry just 190,000 passengers, down 94.6% from 2020. ASKs fell 53.1% and RPKs fell 90.7%. Load factors for the year fell 52.1 percentage points to 12.9%.

Thai notes that it was able to resume normal flights only from 31 October 2021, having temporarily cancelled all regular flights since March 2020. It says it has launched 36 international routes in Asia, Europe, and Australia to help support the Phuket ‘Sandbox’ scheme for vaccinated travellers.

It notes that it has beefed up flights on the Bangkok-Sydney route, and is providing charter services from South Korea to Bangkok in the first quarter of 2022.

The Thai Smile unit has also been able to operate domestic services.

It notes that most of revenue comes from freight forwarding. Freight and mail revenue for 2021 rose 58.5% to Bt10.1 billion.

As of 31 December, Thai’s fleet comprised 67 aircraft, down from 83 a year earlier. Aircraft utilization during 2021 was just 5.3h per day, down from 7.2h in 2020.

As of 31 December, cash and cash equivalents stood at Bt5.1 billion, down from Bt8 billion a year earlier.

In its outlook, Thai notes that the Omicron strain of Covid-19 has slowed the air travel recovery, owing to the return of travel restrictions.

“Thai has a plan to drive the business according to the business rehabilitation plan approved by the court on June 15, 2021, with a new vision which is a high-quality airline to provide full service with the strength of the Thai identity connecting Thailand to the world, and continually generating good profit margins by focusing on the customer as the center of commercial excellence, cost competitiveness with high efficiency in operations and safety,” it adds.

“It also supports the Phuket Sandbox project and the government’s policy of accepting tourists as well as to support the growing demand for travel.”