SUNDAY, April 21, 2024
nationthailand

Thai aviation sector rebounds with record profits for Thai Airways, budget carriers

Thai aviation sector rebounds with record profits for Thai Airways, budget carriers

The resurgence of Thailand’s tourism industry over the past year has translated into substantial gains for airlines and tourism businesses listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).

In the aviation sector alone, 2023 witnessed a remarkable turnaround from losses to profits, signifying a notable upswing in the aviation business throughout the year. Profits soared to 31.4 billion baht and escalated further to 40 billion baht if combined with the operations of Airports of Thailand (AOT).

This represents a significant improvement from the industry’s overall downturn in 2022 when losses amounted to 21 billion baht, including AOT operations.

Thai Airways emerged as the best performer, earning record-breaking profits of 28 billion baht. This shattered the record for the highest profit in history and surpassed the pre-Covid period in 2019 when Thai Airways incurred losses of 12 billion baht.

The airline raked in revenue amounting to 161.07 billion baht, eclipsing its 2022 figures by over 56 billion baht. However, it still fell short of the 2019 revenue of 184.24 billion baht.

Thai aviation sector rebounds with record profits for Thai Airways, budget carriers

Thai aviation sector rebounds with record profits for Thai Airways, budget carriers

Piyasvasti Amranand, chair of Thai Airways’ recovery plan management, outlined the airline’s strategic plans to steer shareholders’ equity into positive territory by the end of this year. Plans are underway for additional stock issuance to bolster capital, with expectations to conclude the initial phase of the plan by 2025 and reinstate trading of THAI shares on the stock market.

Bangkok Airways, meanwhile, reported profits exceeding 3.1 billion baht from its 2023 operations.

Puthipong Prasartthong-Osoth, Bangkok Airways CEO, attributed this growth to the ongoing recovery in the aviation industry, bolstered by factors such as China’s open-country policy, extended holidays and various festivals.

In a strategic move, Bangkok Airways forged a collaborative flight agreement with Singapore Airlines last year, aiming to enhance passenger convenience when connecting to popular destinations across Thailand, ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand. This partnership has seen participation from 28 airlines in code-share agreements, facilitating seamless travel for passengers.

Similarly, Thai AirAsia marked a return to profitability in 2023, notably during the final quarter, with profits exceeding 2.81 billion baht. This turnaround led to an overall shift from losses to profits, totalling 465 million baht for the year.

Santisuk Khlongchaiya, CEO of Asia Aviation and Thai AirAsia Co, expressed optimism for 2024, foreseeing a prosperous year for tourism, especially in the international market. Factors contributing to this positive outlook include the resurgence of the Chinese market and the introduction of new flight routes by Thai AirAsia, including routes from Don Mueang to Xi’an in China, Seoul in South Korea and, most recently, Okinawa in Japan.

Thai AirAsia has set its sights on transporting some 21 million passengers in 2024, with a projected passenger load factor of approximately 90% and revenue growth of 20 to 23% from 2023. The company’s expansion plans include growing its fleet to 60 aircraft by yearend.

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