2008 Annus Horribilis is certainly appropriate for Thai Airways…
After the oil shock, the airports closure, and other goodies, the national carrier starts to feel the economic downturn.
The most worrying sign is that Thai Airways has to beg Airbus for 3 more months of credit term… They just don’t have the cash to pay new aircrafts…
THAI chairman Surachai Tansitpong, who is also the permanent secretary of the Transport Ministry, said all units of the airline needed to submit cost-trimming details within one month. […]
In line with the slowdown in air traffic demand and easing financial burdens, the airline’s board yesterday instructed management to ask the European manufacturer Airbus to delay the delivery of the six new A330-300 wide-body jets due this year for as long as possible.
The delay would mean that the airline could defer the initial payment for new aircraft, thus providing some relief on financing costs.
Recently, Airbus reportedly agreed with THAI’s request to postpone the first payment for the six jets, among eight A330-300s worth at least US$700 million ordered more than a year ago. The first payment will be postponed to April from January and subsequent payments will also be delayed three months.
The airline wants to put off the decommissioning of ageing aircraft, namely six A300-600s and two Boeing 747-300s that have been in use for more than two decades and are supposed to be replaced this year by the new A330-300s. […]
The national carrier is bracing for its first loss in 45 years in 2008. The eight-day airport shutdown was estimated to have cost THAI about 20 billion baht in lost revenue and cancellations. (Bangkok Post)