Thai Airways president Sumeth Damrongchaitham commented on development of the airline’s rehabilitation plan, which is expected to be complete by Dec-2018, as follows (Bangkok Post, 09-Oct-2018):
- The plan aims to raise income from the airline business, catering and the MRO facility at Utapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport;
- The plan aims to increase Thai Airways’ market share, which decreased from 37% in the past five years to 27% in 2018;
- The airline is revising a plan to acquire 23 new aircraft and expects to conclude a purchase plan in 45 days, which will then be submitted to the National Economic and Social Development Board and Cabinet for approval. Mr Sumeth said: “The plan to buy new aircraft is a vital part of Thai’s restructuring plan. The purchase is deemed essential to increase the potential of Thai’s airline business”;
- The Utapao Airport MRO project is expected to receive Cabinet approval in Oct-2018 and a JV partner will be selected by Feb-2019. Operations are expected to commence “within the next five years”. Thai already signed a MoU with Airbus for the project, but an “auction” is needed because Boeing expressed interest in joining the project. Total investment will be THB10.58 billion (USD322 million), of which the government will contribute THB6.33 billion (USD192 million) and the private sector will contribute THB4.25 billion (USD129 million). The facility is expected to generate THB200 billion (USD6.1 billion) in revenue from services to foreign airlines over 50 years;
- Catering has “high potential” due to growth in aircraft numbers and Thailand‘s position as an aviation hub.