Thai Airways to sell 42 aircraft, cut manpower to reduce costs

A Thai Airways plane takes off past the tail of two other Thai Airways planes at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, November 24, 2014 (AFP file photo)

The chairman of the Thai Restructuring Commission said Monday that Thai Airways International plc will sell 42 aircraft and cut nearly a third of its workforce as part of a plan to reduce fleet and cut costs.

The airline, which was in difficulty long before the outbreak of the pandemic, is going through a restructuring process protected from bankruptcy.

Biasvasti Imranand, who is leading the effort, said the planes being sold were old and not energy efficient. He said that 16 chartered planes will be returned.

After the sale, the airline will have 58 aircraft in four variants.

Thai Airways has been losing money almost every year since 2012.

Mr Biasvasti said the airline plans to add more flights especially from Europe over the next few months as travel recovers.

On Monday, the Thai government reopened the country for travel without quarantine for vaccinated tourists.

Mr Biasvasti said Thai Airways will cut the number of workers from 21,300 to 14,500 by December 2022.

To help with cash flow, he said, the airline will enter into a 25 billion baht credit agreement with financial institutions by next year and is in talks with the government for an additional 25 billion baht.

The airline booked a profit of 11.1 billion baht in the six months to June from a loss of 28 billion baht during the corresponding period a year earlier after cutting expenses.

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