Bangkok Airways posted an operating loss of over Bt260 million ($8.1 million) in the first quarter of 2020, undoing the Bt870 million operating profit in the same period last year.

Revenue for the quarter ended 31 March fell 17.5% year-on-year to Bt6.42 billion. Passenger revenue declined 25.3% to Bt4.45 billion, and the carrier attributed this to a fall in passenger numbers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The airline reported a net loss of nearly Bt339 million, compared to the Bt504 million net profit last year.

Overall passenger numbers in January to March fell 23.2% to 1.32 million and passenger load factor declined 12.5 percentage points to 62.1%. However, passenger yield gained 1.1% to Bt4.77. Revenue passenger-kilometres were down 26.9% and available seat-kilometre down by 12.1%. Unit costs including fuel was 4% lower, and excluding fuel, this was up by 12.5% to Bt3.14.

As of 31 March 2020, the company had Bt4.55 billion in cash and cash equivalents, a slight decline from Bt4.79 billion at 31 March 2019.

The carrier was granted approval by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand to suspend eight domestic routes and 20 international routes, starting March.

In March, Gulf Air and Bangkok Airways signed a codeshare agreement for Gulf Air to place its code on seven domestic routes operated by Bangkok Airways.

During the quarter, Bangkok Airways operated 40 aircraft, a net reduction of one aircraft year-on-year, having added one ATR 72-600 while phasing out two ATR 72-500s.