Thai Airways International (THAI) has been ordered by the Thai government to overhaul its financial rehabilitation plan and draw up a new business plan within 30 days as the carrier struggles with losses.
Deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senneam’s directive comes in response to a recent decision by THAI’s board to suspend a plan to procure 38 new aircraft for an estimated THB 156 billion (USD 5.13 billion), for six months, according to the Bangkok Post.
The airline has an accumulated debt of more than THB 100 billion (USD 3.3 billion). The plans are expected to include flight route adjustments and more efficient use of information technology.
Thaworn pointed to the highly competitive nature of the industry, singling out ‘open skies’ has a factor crippling the Thai flag carrier.
As for the aircraft acquisitions, both narrowbody and widebody aircraft were due to be ordered. A previous edition of the plan was also rejected before, with the latest one suggesting deliveries will be made between 2021 and 2026. Despite the acquisition plans being placed on hold, Thai will still lease three B777-300ERs signed for in 2018 to be delivered by end-2020.
The Bangkok-based currently has a fleet of 82 aircraft, with 32 B777s in the fleet. THAI phased out its two P2C converted B747-400Fs in March of 2015.