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Thai Airways not at risk of shutting down: president

Jack Burton



Thai Airways is not at risk of shutting down and recent news reports about the airline’s situation were “misinterpreted”, the beleaguered carrier’s president insisted on Wednesday. The statement appeared to directly contradict remarks he made to high-ranking THAI staff in a speech on Tuesday.

He said the remarks were to encourage staff to make an earnest effort to ensure the struggling airline’s rehabilitation plan succeeds, and were “misinterpreted” as meaning the airline faced possible closure.

He rejected the possibility of the flag carrier closing down, but admitted battling stiff competition, especially from low-cost carriers.

With competition in the industry becoming fiercer, he said he had stressed the importance and urgent need to overcome obstacles facing the airline.

THAI staff were urged to heed how competitive the airline industry has become in all areas, including low-cost carrier competition, air fare promotions, and “cutthroat” route competition in some markets.

“THAI confirms it is perfectly capable to perform exceptionally amid tough airline competition,” he said in a statement issued by the airline.

“In an era when customers have so many offers to hand amid fierce airline competition, employees were asked to join forces and work to beat the competition for the inevitable achievement of improved operational results,” according to the statement.

He also dismissed media reports that the airline planned to stop flying to four destinations in the Asean region, saying THAI has no plan to drop any routes.

THAI is the national carrier and a state enterprise under the Transport Ministry. In the first half of this year, the airline posted a loss of 6.44 billion baht, raising its accumulated loss to 280 billion baht.



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1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Patrick Wahle

    Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    I flew several times with Thai Airways in business class between Europe and Thailand. Thai Airways has always charged more than the other majors airlines on the same route. 10 years ago Thai service and food could justify the premium paid but in the last 5 or 6 years, quality of service and food has been going down.
    It looks like Thai service has been on the same sloop as other Thai services, like immigration outdated policies, hospital gouging, overall increase of prices and a total lack of smile.
    All these negative attitudes with wealthy travellers have driven the good clientele to more welcoming countries.
    Don’t expect the low-cost airlines full of backpackers to fill the Peninsula, Shanghai-La, Oriental or Sukkothai hotels and shop at the Emporium, Siam Paragon or Ikon Siam.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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