Thai Airways International (THAI) says bookings are full on its European and Australian routes in the fourth quarter of this year, but Chinese demand remains sluggish, possibly for reasons related to the economy and security concerns.
The Israel-Hamas war and global economic slowdown appear to have had no immediate impact on travellers so far, judging from the heavy bookings from Europe and Australia, THAI president Chai Eamsiri said on Thursday.
However, the Chinese market has not yet recovered substantially, possibly because of domestic economic problems and the impact of the Siam Paragon shootings on traveller confidence.
Bookings from the Chinese market remained at only 60% of capacity on average, Mr Chai said.
A Chinese mother of twins was among three people killed and another Chinese tourist was injured in the Oct 3 shootings at Siam Paragon, which revived concerns amid some Chinese travellers about the safety of visiting Thailand.
Mr Chai also reiterated that the national carrier should be able to exit its rehabilitation plan late next year as the improvements in its financial performance have exceeded expectations.
The company’s cash flow currently amounts to about 51 billion baht, he added.
THAI is due to report its third-quarter earnings by mid-November. Second-quarter revenue totalled 37.3 billion baht, up 73.7% from the same period last year, as travel demand continued to improve.
Net profit for the quarter was 2.26 billion baht, compared with a net loss of 3.2 billion a year earlier. Profit for the first half was 14.77 billion baht, against a loss of 6.47 billion in the first six months of 2022.