Thai Airlines is now stronger and has intentions to exit rehabilitation early after managing to overcome its financial difficulties.
Thai Airlines is roaring back to life in 2023, following the example of other airlines that have recovered from financial difficulties. The carrier is doing so well that its newly appointed CEO Chai Eamsiri anticipates it will complete its rehabilitation by the end of 2024 and re-enter the Thai Stock Market by 2025.
surpassing expectations and approaching 2019 levels
Earlier this month, during a media conference, Chai stated that the airline is now performing well above the goals set forth in its business plan, with expected earnings before interest, tax, and depreciation (EBITDA) of 20 billion Thai baht ($582 million) this year.
It hasn’t yet released its official 2022 results, but according to Chai, revenue more than doubled to over 90 billion baht ($2.62 billion), and he predicted that it will rise by by 40% this year. If that goal is achieved, revenue will have increased to roughly 70% of pre-pandemic levels.
In terms of operations, Thai Airlines (Thai) is now running 65% of its 2019 routes with an 85% load factor. The carrier with headquarters in Bangkok anticipates a load factor of “not less than 80%” for the remaining months of 2023. As part of its long-term business strategy, it is trying to offload 22 aircraft in addition to receiving receipt of six leased Airbus A350s in April and operating 49 aircraft at the moment.
With new flights added to and from China, Asia, and Europe, where it will target popular European destinations, Thai will be able to return to 80% of 2019 levels thanks to the fleet increase.
This year, Thai will expand frequencies to Tokyo Narita, Tokyo Haneda, Osaka Kansai, Beijing, Shanghai, and five more cities in China. Beijing and Shanghai will be among the new destinations.
The majority of the conditions in the debt plan were promptly satisfied, according to Chai, and we are now beginning our long-term expansion strategy, which involves modernizing our fleet and purchasing new aircraft. updating the fleet
Also, Chai disclosed that the national carrier was in talks with Boeing about acquiring aircraft on a longer-term basis, possibly Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.
Thai already has two 787-9s and six additional 787-8s in its fleet, along with other widebody models like the Airbus A330, A350, and A380, the Boeing 777, and the 747. Six 777-300ER, six 777-200ER, four A340, and six A380 airplanes are among the ones slated for sale.
An article in the Thai Examiner quoted an effervescent Chai as saying that Thailand’s recovery from a horrific economic collapse in 2020 brought on by the overnight shutdown of the tourism industry was directly related to the airline’s comeback. And he said:
“Thai has implemented its recovery plan, cutting expenditures and expenses while also selling idle assets. Thailand’s economic crisis is resolved, and the nation is about to begin a period of steady revenue growth for long-term stability.”
For the airline, achieving an EBDITA of 20 billion baht ($582 million) is crucial because it “meets the criteria for filing out of the rehabilitation plan,” according to Chai, “which states that the company must have EBITDA, deducting rent and cash for the past 12 months, it must have a balance of more than 20 billion baht.”
This would enable the airline to withdraw from the plan before to the end of 2024 and re-enter the stock market in 2025.