Suriya asks if THAI will be able to recoup cost of 45 new planes
Despite not being under his jurisdiction, Transport Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit still expressed disagreement with the national carrier’s plan to purchase a new fleet of 45 planes to boost its capacity.
Suriya conceded on Tuesday that he has no authority to oppose this plan because Thai Airways International (THAI) is still undergoing rehabilitation.
However, he said, the Transport Ministry wanted to ask the airline’s board of directors whether it would be worth investing in such a huge procurement project.
So far, THAI has not officially confirmed reports by Reuters and Simple Flying that it was ordering 45 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with the option of expanding the order up to 80 aircraft.
The planes will be powered by General Electric GEnx engines.
While there has been no official announcement, the deal is expected to be formally unveiled later this month, possibly during the Singapore Airshow.
This aligns with THAI's previously mentioned plan to acquire 30 or more new jets as part of its restructuring and expansion plans.
Suriya said that though the government does not have the authority to interfere in the rehabilitation plan, it could not help expressing concern as to whether THAI would be hit by huge losses if it invests too much.