Thai Airways Places The Brakes On Major Order Plan

Thai Airways announced that it will halt its plans on new aircraft orders. The airline was set to add 38 units to its fleet but the board has now postponed the move.

Thai Airbus_A380-841
Thai Airways has altered plans for new aircraft. Photo: Toshiro Aoki ( via Wikimedia Commons

ATW Online reports that the Thailand flag carrier recently held a meeting to review the proposals. The board decided that the order plans should be revised and then resubmitted in half a year. The stakeholders felt that the current industry environment needs to be considered, along with the source of investment funds.

Changing fleet

Both narrowbody and widebody airliners were due to be ordered. A previous edition of the plan was also rejected before, with the latest one suggesting deliveries will be made between 2021 and 2026. Despite the acquisition plans being placed on hold, Thai will still lease three Boeing 777-300ERs.

These models were signed for in 2018 and will be delivered by the end of 2020. Thai Airways currently has a fleet of 82, with the Boeing 777 holding the greatest share with 32 units. The airline also has a significant Airbus holding but it dropped the last of its A340s four years ago.

Thai Airways, Boeing 777
Thai will be adding three Boeing 777s on lease to help with its operations while its acquisition plans are under review. Photo: Masakatsu Ukon via Wikimedia Commons

Wider plans

These deliveries will help Thai as part of its wider company overhaul. The organization is set to undergo a new turnaround strategy to increase revenue while cutting costs.

The state-owned group recently announced a 2019 second-quarter loss of THB 698m ($22.5m). This loss is part of a negative financial trend for Thai, with dire results also reported in previous seasons. The company, therefore, devised a six-point strategy to overcome its struggles.

These points include Thai’s goal of reducing food waste with its “Zero Waste Management” program. A new marketing strategy is also being introduced to help grow customers. Along with this, a revision of the business’ online booking system is in the works.

The airline also hopes to increase collaboration with non-airline businesses. Subsequently, the carrier would like to improve the internal relationship with its subsidiary, Thai Smile.

Thai Airways Airbus A340
Thai are continuing the restructure of its fleet after dropping the last of its Airbus A340s in 2016. Photo: Aero Icarus via Wikimedia Commons

Wider plans

Ultimately, Thai aims to cut costs while maintaining a high standard of quality. In an effort to improve its situation, Thai asked its customers for cost-cutting ideas. The carrier said that it is interested in hearing from passengers and potential customers who have proposed solutions and suggestions.

Nonetheless, Thai will be hoping that its acquisition plans will go ahead sooner rather than later. Once the proposals are agreed on and the turnaround strategy is in full effect, things may improve for the airline in the next decade.

Simple Flying reached out to Thai Airways for further comment but had not heard back prior to publication. We will update with any further announcements. What do you think of Thai’s plans for the next decade?