Thai Airways earnings jump as travel boom boosts sales

Thai Airways earnings jump as travel boom boosts sales

Operating profit, excluding one-time items, soared to B24.6bn in 2023 from a B4.59bn loss

Thai Airways International jets are visible from the passenger terminal of Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Thai Airways International jets are visible from the passenger terminal of Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

Thai Airways International (THAI) Public Company Limited's full-year earnings jumped as booming air travel demand boosted ticket sales.

Net profit in 2023 rose to 28.1 billion baht (US$782 million), rebounding from 272-million-baht loss the year before, the airline said in an exchange filing Friday. That was the carrier's second-highest annual net income after a 55-billion-baht profit in 2021 when it booked an 81.5 billion baht gain from a debt restructuring, according to data compiled by Bloomberg

Operating profit before one-time items last year rose to 24.6 billion baht from a 4.59-billion-baht loss in 2022. Total operating revenue surged 53% to 161 billion baht, it said. The carrier did not provide the fourth-quarter earnings. 

Passenger numbers hit 13.76 million, up 53% from 2022, when Thailand had just started to ease coronavirus (Covid) travel restrictions. The airline also had another one-time gain of 3.96 billion baht from debt restructuring compared with a 5.24-billion-baht loss from similar transactions a year earlier.  

It is just the third annual profit since 2013 for the nation's flagship carrier, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2020. Most creditors agreed to extend terms and cut some interest repayments as part of a rehabilitation plan, and the carrier plans to exit from its court-supervised debt restructuring earlier than scheduled in late 2024. 

Thai Airways this month agreed to order 45 Boeing Co aircraft, with an option that would increase the total number to 80, to expand its capacity on rising passenger demand. The United States planemaker said on Tuesday that the order for 45 Dreamliner aircraft was the largest in Thai history.  

The carrier plans to add three new Airbus A350-900 aircraft this quarter to meet rising bookings, according to its statement. It reaffirmed the completion of its capital restructuring in 2024 to help boost its financial status and enable its stock to resume trading on the Thai exchange in 2025. The shares have been suspended from trading since May 2021.

Transport Minister Suriya Juangruangreangkit said on Wednesday that the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) is in discussion with all six airlines in Thailand to increase the number of flights during holidays and lower the flight price ceiling in a bid to address excessive fares.

The six domestic flight providers included Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, Nok Air and Thai Vietjet.

A Thai Airways International's Boeing 787-8 "Dreamliner" jet with its engines removed parks at Suvarnabhumi airport. (File photo: Thai Airways International)

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (23)