As part of its plan to reduce its fleet and costs, Thailand’s flag carrier Thai Airways has announced plans to sell 42 planes and cut nearly a third of its workforce, Reuters has reported.
On November 1, the head of the airline’s restructuring committee confirmed plans for a significant downsizing of aircraft and employee numbers. The cash-strapped airline, which has been losing money since 2012 and was struggling long before the pandemic struck, is in the process of a bankruptcy-protected restructuring.
The airline plans to reduce its number of workers from 21,300 down to 14,500 by December 2022.
The aircraft for sale are older and, according to Piyasvasti Amranand, the independent board director leading the restructure, not energy efficient. Amranand added that Thai Airways will also end its agreement on the 16 jets currently leased to the airline. Following the sale, the carrier will further reduce its fleet size to 58 planes across four types.
The Thai government reopened the country on November 1, 2021, allowing travel for vaccinated tourists without quarantine restrictions.
Amranand stated that the airline was making plans to increase flights with a particular focus on Europe over the next few months as travel recovers. He added that the airline will conclude a 25-billion-baht ($749 million) credit agreement with financial institutions by 2022 and is in talks with the government for an additional 25 billion baht.
Thai Airways reported a net profit of 11.1 billion baht ($332.6 million) for the first half of 2021, compared to a loss of 28 billion baht during the corresponding period in 2020, and was largely a result of reducing expenses.