TAA banking on new units for income

TAA banking on new units for income

Thai AirAsia (TAA) expects to earn 40% of the revenue it tallied in 2019 this year.

It is also looking for additional income from new business units.

Santisuk Klongchaiya, chief executive of TAA, attributed the decrease to international travel restrictions to stem the pandemic.

The country needs travel bubbles to support the whole tourism industry, he said.

Travel bubble discussions have stalled as global cases spike, making the airline worried the reopening plan will abruptly stop.

In the first nine months this year, SET-listed Asia Aviation (AAV), the largest shareholder of TAA, reported 12.1 billion baht in total revenue, a 61% plunge year-on-year.

Rigid travel restrictions since March 22 caused a 60% drop to 6.68 million passengers.

Mr Santisuk said TAA will close this year with 9.3 million passengers, down from 22.2 million in 2019, while the average load factor is likely to stay at 75%, down from 85% last year.

Total revenue last year closed at 41.6 billion baht.

Domestic travel demand during the high season will push the average load factor up to 80% as local tourists cannot spend on trips abroad and seek domestic excursions instead.

He said seat capacity for domestic services in January was 4 million, and it aims to fill 3.94 million seats in December.

TAA is among seven local airlines that submitted a letter to Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisit, requesting a 14-billion-baht soft loan.

This proposal is revised down from 24 billion baht as airlines focus on a single objective -- the government helping the workforce through this budget.

TAA has 7,000 employees, while Thai AirAsia X has around 900-1,000 employees.

Moreover, the airline is preparing to utilise its carriers for cargo. The opportunity for this service increased after TAA added Suvarnabhumi airport as a hub in September.

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