National carrier Thai Airways International (THAI) is refurbishing five planes slated for decommissioning in a bid to expand its fleet ahead of the high season this year.
THAI also believes it will generate up to 80 billion baht in revenue now that foreigners have started returning to Thailand.
The planes set to undergo an overhaul include three Airbus A330s and two Boeing 777-200s, Nond Kalinta, THAI’s executive vice president for commercial, said on Sunday. He added that these planes will be used for routes with high demand like South Korea, Singapore and Japan.
“We believe this year’s high season will see the highest number of passengers in the last two years. The airline expects 4.48 million passengers for the whole year and a total income of 80 billion baht thanks to the lifting of travel restrictions for foreigners since July 1,” he said.
“Next year, we expect the number of passengers to rise to 9.18 million and total income to 129 billion baht.”
Nond added that the airline industry is recovering very fast after being hit the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic for two years.
“For THAI, the average cabin factor is now at 70-80 per cent, with European markets having the highest cabin factor at 90 per cent. The advance booking rate in July is now at 60 per cent and is rising continually,” he said.
“Average passengers of THAI and Thai Smile in June this year jumped to 12,568 and 12,257 persons per day, respectively, compared to an average of 269 and 4,929 persons per day recorded between April and October 2021.”
Nond said THAI will increase flight frequency and destinations in the first and second quarters of 2023, introducing more flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Melbourne, London, Jakarta, Dhaka, Frankfurt, Taipei, Singapore, Copenhagen, Munich and Zurich.
In the third quarter, the airline will add more flights to Jakarta, Taipei, Singapore, Copenhagen, Munich, Zurich and Seoul.
THAI also recorded 2.1 billion baht income from cargo transport in May, jumping 41 per cent compared to the same period of 2019. – The Nation