Competition amongst discount airlines concerns Thai CAA

PHOTO: Travel Daily (the photo is for display only and does not reflect on the airlines depicted)

Thailand’s airlines are strapped for cash, facing serious competition and discounted airfares, and the Thai Civil Aviation Authority is closely watching their safety standards. This from the CAAT director-general Chula Sukmanop.

Sukmanop says he’s worried because many airlines, especially budget carriers, are facing serious financial problems due to fierce competition on routes to main destinations like Chiang Mai and Phuket. Also under-performing new routes that have been kicked off this year.

Some airlines earn only 0.75 baht per kilometre.

“This is difficult to solve because it is business competition.”

“Many airlines show poor operating performance, jeopardising their services. Aviation authorities have warned endangered carriers to review their financial plans, and if the revised plans are unsatisfactory, CAAT will order them to reduce routes and flight frequencies.”

“Despite negative operating results, airlines must not compromise their maintenance and safety standards. Airlines must adjust their fleets and operating costs in order to protect passenger safety.”

Thailand’s national carrier Thai Airways posted a loss of 11 billion baht this year, for the first three quarters of 2019. The airline has posted almost a decade of quarterly losses as it grapples with its outdated aviation model and battles with an ageing fleet and top-heavy staffing.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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