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Loss-making Thai Airways' chairman quits

Thai Airways International's chairman has stepped down amid continuing pressure over the loss-making airline's financial performance.

Ekniti Nitithanprapas resigned from his position on 1 November, the flag-carrier states.

Thai has named vice-chairman Chaiyapruk Didyasarin to take up the duties in the interim. Didyasarin had only been appointed to the vice-chairmanship in mid-October.

The carrier has not specified a reason for Nitithanprapas's sudden departure.

But the airline had been forced to assure last month that the airline was not facing the possibility of closure, while stating that its president had been pointing out to personnel that competition in the industry was proving strong.

The president had spoken to staff to "motivate them to take immediate action" to cut costs and lift profits.

Thai's half-year financial statement shows that carrier turned in a consolidated pre-tax loss of Bt6.1 billion ($205 million) for the first six months, four times the previous interim loss.

The airline's revenues declined sharply and could not offset expenditure, despite a lower fuel bill and reduced impairment losses on aircraft.

Its balance sheet also shows that its current liabilities of Bt87.1 billion exceed its current assets of Bt50.6 billion.

Thai's overall assets of Bt262 billion are nevertheless greater than its overall liabilities of Bt245 billion.

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