THAI pilots to get higher allowances

THAI pilots to get higher allowances

Thai Airway International hopes that a new, higher system of allowances will halt the pilot-poaching by other airlines. (Photo via Thai Airways)
Thai Airway International hopes that a new, higher system of allowances will halt the pilot-poaching by other airlines. (Photo via Thai Airways)

Thai Airways International Plc (THAI) has increased pilot allowances in a bid to stop pilot poaching by competitors.

THAI president Sumeth Damrongchaitham said the company's board on Wednesday approved the new rates for pilots.

The rates are based on the block hour pay system, which will be applied from January 2019 onwards.

The block hour pay system gives pilots fairer payment as it is calculated by flight distance. The previous rates were lower as the company had narrowed allowances across the board.

The company believes the new measure will help motivate its pilots to stay with the company.

Over the past 10-15 years, THAI have lost pilots to other airlines due to the emergence of low cost airlines that offer better pay.

Currently, THAI employs about 1,300 pilots across its domestic and international routes.

According to Linkedin the median salary of Thai Airways pilots is $95,000, or just over 3 million baht.

A THAI source said many premium and budget airlines have already applied the block hour pay system to prevent the poaching of pilots by other companies.

Many THAI pilots have resigned to join other airlines after being offered better allowances and pay, the source noted.

Meanwhile, the company's board of directors have postponed talks on aircraft procurement to January next year.

The board of directors had finished reviewing THAI's procurement plans, but instead of submitting it to the National Economic Social Development Board (NESDB) for approval, decided that more studies need to be carried out due to the scale of the purchases.

The government has previously asked it to review its purchase plans.

THAI needs to purchase 38 new aircraft at a cost of more than 100 billion baht, but the number of aircraft and its procurement budget will ultimately be decided by the NESDB and the cabinet.

According to THAI's strategic roadmap, the airline aims to stem its financial losses by 2019, return to profitability by 2020, and reclaim its position as one of the world's top five airline by 2022.

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