Thai Airways : “The situation has deteriorated from bad to worse”

Thai Airways International is moving to cut back flights, especially on regional routes, in line with the sharp drop in passenger demand due to the political turmoil and the global financial crisis.

”The situation has deteriorated from bad to worse, well beyond our expectation. [It] is becoming more critical for us to reassess our frequencies,”
executive vice-president Pandit Chanapai said.

The extent of the cuts has yet to be worked out and THAI may take steps such as merging flights to suit passenger numbers to contain losses, he said.

THAI’s cabin factor in September dropped more than it expected and the deepening political strife is making conditions worse. The airline filled just 70% of its seats in the third quarter.

Countries in Asia are far more sensitive to bad news than the long-haul market from which THAI saw smaller declines.’‘What is terrible about the current political crisis is in its open-ended nature. Unlike 9/11, Sars and the tsunami, we don’t know when it will end,’‘ Mr Pandit said.

For the first half of this year, THAI posted a loss of 7.04 billion baht. (Bangkok Post)

Surprised ? Not really (read here). Oil prices, competition, political crisis, financial crisis… there is no way Thai Airways can escape a serious slowdown.

But the main negative factor is probably the inability of the national carrier to change.

This company is riddled with “politicians games”, it is a honeypot and playground for lunatics generals and other retired military, inane “unions”, over staffed, and with a low level of management…

When the party went on, Thai Airways was able to hide the dust under the carpet… Now that external situation turn sours… the company is totally naked. In broad light.

Change or die.

The choice is going to be very simple.

14 Responses to “Thai Airways : “The situation has deteriorated from bad to worse””

  1. 1 chinesethai 10 October 2008 at 3:17 am

    I flied to Chiangmai last month for business on Air Asia – the first time in my life on a budget airline. Believe it or not, 40% of the aircraft seats were empty. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like on Thai Airways’s similar domestic route, for which travelers pay higher.

    Can you see why PAD receives a lot of support from Thai Airways Labour Union? They can tolerate “lawful corruption” any longer. 3 days ago, a Thai Airways captain denied boarding to 3 of the PPP MPs.

    You are going to see similar civil actions against the blood-thirsty crooks in many places – airlines, hospitals, schools, banks, streets, supermarkets, etc.

  2. 2 Gloomy Observer 10 October 2008 at 3:24 am

    Or perhaps they are more afraid that the government might privatise the airline and actually fire some of the useless workers? Just a thought…

  3. 3 chinesethai 10 October 2008 at 3:35 am

    Well, then the fear for privatization is reasonable. The disaster happening in the West gives enough proof that privatization is the way out. The country needs at least the national flag carrier of its own.

    The root cause of Thai Airways illness comes from the top, which is corruption at the governmental level.

  4. 4 ThaiCrisis 10 October 2008 at 3:39 am

    Unions, and politicians, and military (plus the cousin of the maid of the general) are all responsible.

    Thai Airways was used, over and over, as a huge HONEY POT.

    A running cash machine, a lottery with only winning numbers…

    Now, the party is over.

    You can be sure that all of those people will resist any change and will prefer to break the toy rather than to stop playing with it…

    Who is willing to cut off its own life supply with a smile ?

  5. 5 chang dek 10 October 2008 at 9:40 am

    chinesethai, you mean “nationalization is the way out”, in case you are reading what’s happening to the banks globally…

  6. 6 chinesethai 10 October 2008 at 10:15 am

    I do not mean that nationalization is the way out and you must nationalize everything. I do not support extreme measures.

    I suggest that some enterprises must remain nationalized, and not to be totally privatized such as a flag carrier, electricity, water supply, public transportation, oil & gas (just one entity), etc, for the sake of national security. Inefficiency and corruption? Get rid of it. How? Get rid of crooked politicians first.

  7. 7 chang dek 10 October 2008 at 12:02 pm

    …and give the power back to the elite… where it “righteously” belongs…..LET THEM EAT SOM TAM!

  8. 8 chinesethai 10 October 2008 at 1:40 pm

    I don’t know why you guys are so obsessed with the term “elite VS poor”. I think this is totally out of touch and nonsense.

    From my observation, the protesters, especially those who were injured and killed, are from all walks of life and throughout the country, not limited to Bangkok elite and educated.

    In fact, the elites are also closely inter-connected with Pro-Thaksin groups, including the families that owns Nescafe-franchisee, Central Group, TV3, Beer Chang, Singha Beer and whatnot families. The poor are just being used to justify their accession to top power.

    Yes, the top people may not be perfect. They are not flawless. They have greed. But at least he is better than these greedy, blood-thirsty minority rich. I, as well as many others, do not mind of Thailand changing to another progressive regime. But, hey…. if it is changing for worse, we can’t afford it to happen.

  9. 9 fall 10 October 2008 at 2:29 pm

    On the other hand, if Thai Airways successfully reform, become efficient, and start laying-off slacker. What would happen to all those employee who got hire for being someone mistress or relative?
    They need a no-brainer job and a good pay. Might as well shareholder pays for it instead of tax payer money.

  10. 10 chang dek 10 October 2008 at 2:58 pm


  11. 11 soeso 10 October 2008 at 3:19 pm

    the word “elite” can have many meanings. one is about have the priliveged social status. if we say prilivege comes mainly by wealth and power, then of course, all in government and parliament belong to this group.

    but amongst the “elite” group, it is possible to further sub-divide them if one likes, and the two large groups are the traditional royalist elite and the other group the newer capitalist elite.

    the conflict playing out is not Elite Vs. Poor. it is an intra-elite conflict… the old elite vs. new elite.

  12. 12 chinesethai 11 October 2008 at 5:44 am

    Soeso’s explanation is realistic. Put it differently in simple mathematical equation….

    would-be-pres-in-exile VS you-know-who
    Republicanism VS Monarchism

    There are both right-wingers and left-wingers associated mixed in both sides.

    Some key Pro-PADs (senators, labour union leaders) are not royalists but they just believe having would-be-pres-in-exile is much worse than having you-know-who.

    Nothing has got to do with Elite VS Poor.

  13. 13 Bedwyr 12 October 2008 at 5:42 am

    CT, I sort of agree. To a point. The nature of the struggle is certainly that those who wich to control the poor as a vehicle for their own elevation are now battling with the traditional Thai elite.

    Sure, the poor will benefit, but let there be no doubt: the likes of Chidchob and Chalerm are scum who don’t actually give a shit about the poor, but instead who just want to further enhance their own power and self-esteem.

    Worked for Ferdinand Marcos. The idea is that what worked once will work twice – right?

    But the poor would be well advised to be careful who they vote for. The above-named bloodsuckers with the many others out there under the PPP banner will give them 200bt and take 2000bt. perhaps the poor need to decide that they won’t give their vote to anyone on the ballot paper instead of instinctively following the first person who says the right thing to them.

    As the old story goes, not everyone who shits on you is your enemy, and not everyone who digs you out of the shit is your friend.


  14. 14 Hoktula 14 October 2008 at 6:44 am

    everyone loves to talk about poor selling their votes and the Thaksin/ TRT/ PPP / whatever taking advantage of that.

    but which other party in LOS doesn’t do exactly the same?
    perhaps Democrats ?

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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