Thai International is trying to maintain profitability following the fall in traffic after the 11 September US terrorist attacks, despite being barred from cutting staff.

The state-run airline employs 26,000 staff but has been prevented by the Thai government from laying any off, says Thai chief commercial officer Tasna Sudansna. As a result, Thai has increased capacity slightly since 11 September. Although the airline temporarily suspended some services, capacity has risen by 4%, says Sudansna. "We added a new destination - Mumbai - and have increased frequencies on key routes to China, Europe and Vietnam," he says.

Non-profitable domestic services have been reduced with routes transferred to local carriers, in line with the government's deregulation policy.

"Thai is spinning off non-core operations such as catering, cargo and ground services into separate business units, and seeking to increase efficiency and revenue from them," says Sudansna.

Analysis to establish appropriate employee levels for the airline could result in staff being transferred to other divisions and contracts being revised.

Source: Flight International