THAI to submit B156bn new plane purchase plan to cabinet

THAI to submit B156bn new plane purchase plan to cabinet

Thai Airways International (THAI) will seek cabinet approval this month to buy or lease 38 new planes at an estimated cost of 156 billion baht, with 31 planes to be procured over the next five years.

Airline president Sumeth Damrongchaitham said on Tuesday the aircraft acquisition plan would reach Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak this week and be put to the cabinet later this month for approval.

Procurement would be by purchase and leasing, with the planes a mix of wide and narrow body models, he said.

There would be two phases. The first stage was for 31 planes to replace old ones within five years, and the second would be for seven other aircraft, Mr Sumeth said.

The national airline was also studying new routes to increase income. Management would ask the airline board to approve a new Bangkok-Sendai (Japan) service, to be launched in November. THAI was also interested in flying the Bangkok-Manchester route, but had yet to conduct a thorough study of it, Mr Sumeth said.

He hoped the airline could be profitable again in mid-2020.

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