Thai Airways International’s second-quarter loss more than doubled as the global economic slowdown, fierce competition and a strengthened baht took their toll on revenue. The company reported a 6.88 billion baht ($223.7 million) loss in the second quarter, compared with a 3.1 billion baht deficit a year earlier, according to a filing to Thai exchange. Revenue fell 10 per cent to 42.5 billion baht.
The national carrier has faced mounting pressure on its revenue as it struggles to operate with ageing aircraft, declining tourist arrivals and a stronger currency. The baht’s 8 per cent appreciation against the dollar in the past year is the strongest in a basket of emerging-market currencies. The baht appreciation greatly affected the Thai tourism situation, the company said.
Newly appointed Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob said last week he supported Thai Airways’ plan to buy new aircraft to improve its services. In the current quarter, the company had total of 103 active aircraft, two fewer than a year earlier after the airline decommissioned a pair of Boeing B737-400s.
Thai Airways’s total expenses dropped 0.8 per cent to 49.6 billion baht on lower fuel prices.