Thai Airways has managed to sell the first 11 aircraft out of a total of 37 it has put up for sale as part of its bankruptcy recovery program. The airline’s acting president, Chansin Treenuchagron, ay Thailand’s transport minister has permitted Thai Airways to sell 1 older Boeing 737-400 plane and 10 Boeing 747-400 ‘Jumbo’ jets.
Thai Airways had found buyers for the 11 furloughed aircraft but Thailand’s Civil Air Operating Licence required authorisation from the minister in charge.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob has now permitted to dispose of the 11 aircraft.
Meanwhile, the national airline has been trying to recover since its filing for bankruptcy in May 2020 by reducing expenses, reforming the organisation, reducing staff and senior management, and selling unnecessary secondary assets, including some of its older fleet.
The airline also sold land, buildings, and stocks in Bangkok Aviation Fuel and Nok Air (which also filed for bankruptcy in July 2020). The former proud national carrier was carrying 400 billion baht debt when it filed for bankruptcy.
The airline’s acting president Chansin said that Thai Airways has already sold around 9 billion baht in assets as part of its recovery. The airline has also been adding new routes or re-establishing old flights as the global aviation industry slowly recovers from the Covid pandemic.
The airline also made over a million baht in just a minute in March this year by selling their colourful economy class seats from a decommissioned Airbus A330-300. They also opened up a pop-up restaurant at their Bangkok offices serving Thai Airways in-flight meals (with seats from their planes of course).
The airline has put 37 aircraft up for sale since November 2020. They include 10 Boeing 747-400s, 6 Boeing 777-200s, and 6 Boeing 777-300s. It has also let go of its 6 Airbus A340-600s, 3 A340-500s, 2 Boeing 737-400s, 3 Airbus A330-300s, and an Airbus A300-600.
A large majority of their existing fleet is still sitting about the apron of Suvarnabhumi Airport gathering dust waiting for the demand on their flights to resume.
Published the Thaiger, 29.June 2022