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Old January 7th, 2009, 11:26 PM   #401
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyprince View Post
How about TG frequencies to all destinations ? Same as before Dec protest ?
It was normally in two weeks ago.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 09:09 PM   #402
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Norway Grand Travel Award 2009 to Thai Airways


Thai Airways in Norway has once again received the award for best intercontinental airline in the Norwegian Grand Travel Award 2009.

It is the fifth consecutive year Thai Airways in Norway is winning the award. The Grand Travel award was arranged for the 14th time, with 15 different categories. The nominees are elected by a travel trade jury, and the voting is done by a random selection of more than 400 travel agents all over Norway. It was received by District Sales Manager in Norway, Mrs. Hilde Hirai, during an award ceremony in Oslo on January 05th.

Despite the internal challenges in Thailand in 2008, the norwegian travel trade has proved their strong confidence in us, and also in Thailand as a tourist country, said Thai 's Sales manager in Norway, Mrs. Hilde Hirai. - We are very proud to once again win this prestigeous award, and we will do whatever we can not only to maintain, but also increase our effort for the travel trade and our loyal passengers in the year ahead of us.

Thailand was also the lucky winner of the category for best tourist country in the World. Over ten countries were nominated, and Thailand was the clear winner once again. Thailand has received the award more than ten times, and was received by H.E. Jullapong Nonsrichai, ambassador to Thailand in Norway, together with Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand in Scandinavia, Mr. Manit Boonchim.





From left: Manit Boochim, Veena Bohlin, Hilde Hirai and ambasssador H.E, Jullapong Nonsrichai (Photo: Kai Hirai/ GoToAsia)
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Old January 9th, 2009, 08:46 PM   #403
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THAI board pursues further cost cutting

Bangkokpost Published: 8/01/2009 at 12:00 AM


The board of Thai Airways International yesterday asked management to come up with more cost cuts across the board - including perks to board members - to weather the global economic crisis.

The cost reduction is part of an overall survival bid including the delay of deliveries of new jetliners, especially those due in the short term, which the national carrier plans in face of the worsening economic environment.

THAI chairman Surachai Tansitpong, who is also the permanent secretary of the Transport Ministry, said all units of the airline needed to submit cost-trimming details within one month.

He said the cost cuts would be across the entire spectrum of THAI's operation and even the meeting fees and perks given to the airline's board of directors would be looked into.

Earlier this week, Transport Minister Sopon Zarum suggested that perks given to directors and fringe benefits to staff including free air tickets come under close scrutiny.

"Initially, I think that trimming may need to come first from the top level, say board members," he said, noting that possibilities still need to be studied.

In line with the slowdown in air traffic demand and easing financial burdens, the airline's board yesterday instructed management to ask the European manufacturer Airbus to delay the delivery of the six new A330-300 wide-body jets due this year for as long as possible.

The delay would mean that the airline could defer the initial payment for new aircraft, thus providing some relief on financing costs.

Recently, Airbus reportedly agreed with THAI's request to postpone the first payment for the six jets, among eight A330-300s worth at least US$700 million ordered more than a year ago. The first payment will be postponed to April from January and subsequent payments will also be delayed three months.

The airline wants to put off the decommissioning of ageing aircraft, namely six A300-600s and two Boeing 747-300s that have been in use for more than two decades and are supposed to be replaced this year by the new A330-300s.

THAI executives have said all the survival measures adopted earlier to enable it to weather the slump in travel demand and political tensions in Thailand have become meaningless in the aftermath of the recent seizure of Bangkok's two airports by People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protesters.

The national carrier is bracing for its first loss in 45 years in 2008. The eight-day airport shutdown was estimated to have cost THAI about 20 billion baht in lost revenue and cancellations.

The airline suffered a loss of 6.61 billion baht in the first nine months of 2008, due largely to high fuel prices and the downturn in travel demand.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 03:35 PM   #404
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Thai Airways seeks delay of Airbus A330 deliveries

BANGKOK, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Thai Airways International THAI.BK said on Wednesday it planned to ask Airbus (EAD.PA) to delay the delivery of six A330 aircraft due later this year because of the sluggish airline business.

The national carrier, hit by the global crisis and Thai airport closures late last year by political demonstrators, had no pressing need for the new planes and the postponement should help ease its financial burden, Chairman Surachai Tansitpong told Reuters.

"We will ask Airbus to delay the delivery of the six planes. It's not necessary for us to have new planes at the moment," Surachai said.

The plan came a day after Thai Airways said it had agreed with Airbus to postpone the first payment for the six A330 aircraft to April from January, with subsequent payments also delayed for three months.

The national carrier has ordered eight A330 aircraft and six of them will be delivered this year, with the first due in April. It has also ordered six A380 superjumbos to be delivered in December 2010.

Plans to revise a decommissioning plan will be discussed at a board meeting next week.

Thai Airways said last month the global crisis and the airport shutdowns would pull 2008 revenue growth below 10 percent and the impact would continue to be felt in 2009.

On Wednesday, its shares fell nearly 6 percent to 7.20 baht, underperforming a 2.15 percent fall in the main index. (Reporting by Manunphattr Dhanananphorn; Writing by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Alan Raybould)



http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssI...40711220090107
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Old January 16th, 2009, 01:01 PM   #405
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THAI discontinues Johannesburg service

Bangkokpost Published: 16/01/2009 at 12:00 AM


Thai Airways International (THAI) has put an end to its Bangkok-Johannesburg services but gave its non-stop Bangkok-Los Angeles flight a respite until March.

The last THAI flight to Johannesburg left Suvarnabhumi airport yesterday and the last return flight is due to arrive today, ending the service introduced in October 2006.

It also means the end of a direct air link between the kingdom and the African state. South African Airlines pulled out of the sector earlier.

The route failed financially and in response to pressing needs to cut costs the airline axed it. High operating costs, particularly fuel bills for the 11-hour flight, were cited as the prime obstacle to profitability, while highly seasonal demand also contributed.

The compulsory use of four-engine jetliners - THAI uses an Airbus A340-600 - on the route was also blamed for more fuel consumption, as the airline was not able to use the more fuel efficient twin-engine alternative, Boeing 777-200ER.

The recent load factor on the route was described as "not too bad," with the outbound flight recording about 70% of the 267 seats available on the aircraft and the inbound 60%.

The airline ruled out reducing the frequency from three flights a week.

"It won't help if the airline cuts the frequency to two flights a week. Three flights a week are the minimum required for this type of market," an executive of THAI explained.

Airline management also does not want risky long-haul non-stop routes as the global travel market declines as the world's economic crisis worsens.

Meanwhile, THAI decided to keep its non-stop Bangkok-Los Angeles flights, scheduled to operate until Jan 31, until the end of the current six-month winter traffic programme on March 28.

Traffic demand on this flight has remained surprisingly strong to allow continuation of the service, even though the US economy is in a deep recession.

Bangkok-Los Angeles is one of the few ultra-long-haul non-stop flights left in the THAI network, as these flights are subject to close scrutiny because of substantial fuel consumption.

The collapse of crude oil prices from a peak of US$147 a barrel in July last year to around $40 now reduced the cost pressure that would have grounded ultra-long-haul air services altogether.

One problem on THAI's non-stop US flights is the seating capacity of the four-engine A340-500, with 215 seats but only 60 in business class, where airlines really make money but cannot always fill.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 11:56 AM   #406
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THAI airways may need huge boost

The Nation Published on January 20, 2009


In the worst-case scenario, Thai Airways International may need to borrow up to Bt19 billion this year to boost liquidity.
"We may need assistance from the Finance Ministry," chairman Surachai Thansit-pong said yesterday.


The national carrier's board recently approved long-term borrowing of about Bt10 billion, mainly to refinance short-term debts that come due in February and March. Part of the funding will also be used as working capital.


Surachai said THAI would need to revise its business plan and raise funds to refinance short-term funding and increase liquidity, due mainly to the sharp drop in passenger numbers during the current high season.


The number of passengers during December and January has dropped by more than 30 per cent year on year, due partly to the week-long seizure of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports.


Last week, Transport Minister Sophon Saram told the THAI board to cut benefits given to directors and employees as a way to return to profit. The benefits include free first-class tickets to directors and steep discounts on ticket prices for employees and their relatives.


Surachai admitted the proposal would not, however, help the airline financially. It was meant mainly to have a psychological effect on employees, who need to brace for the crisis, he said. In financial terms, if benefits were to be cut, THAI would save only Bt6 million a month.


"What would revive the airline is a revision of the business plan. How can we recover the drop in revenue? We're waiting to see if passenger numbers pick up in February and March. If the figures do not improve, this could affect THAI's liquidity, and we would need to borrow," he said.


The carrier lost Bt6.6 billion in the first three quarters of 2008. It earlier estimated that the shutdown of the two airports had caused the company damage of more than Bt20 billion.


Asia Plus Securities and Capital Nomura Securities expect THAI to post an annualised net loss of Bt13 billion in 2008, with a net loss of Bt7 billion in the fourth quarter alone.


Asia Plus expects the company to remain in the red in the first half of this year, due to hedging contracts. THAI pays US$100 (Bt3,500) per barrel for jet fuel, while the market price is $62.


Capital Nomura Securities estimates that THAI's net loss this year will be Bt2.3 billion and that the company will need Bt20 billion in liquidity.


Philip Securities (Thailand) predicts the 2008 net loss will come in at Bt9.2 billion.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 01:22 PM   #407
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Thai: lounges win accolades


BANGKOK: Thai Airways International’s first class lounge at Suvarnabhumi Airport has continued to win accolades from aviation professionals and customers alike, particularly for its unique “Thainess.”
This “Thainess” revolves around a number of elements unique to Thailand, says the airline. The materials and products are sourced from Thailand; the graciousness of the staff from “The Land of Smiles,” and the comfort afforded passengers in the full spa treatment area.


The person responsible for the lounges is the Managing Director, Ground Customer Services Department, Lek Klinvibul. He says they were opened in 2006 when Thai faced the enormous task of installing seven Thai lounges to service all Star Alliance airlines (one first class lounge and six business class lounges).

Said Klinvibul: “I believe you cannot find this exact type of spa lounge anywhere else in other country’s airports. They have that essential Thai feeling that makes this country still one of the world’s top tourist destinations.”

The first class lounges offer three rooms for full spa treatment, including Jacuzzis, in each room. Other treatments are for foot, head and shoulder massages. There are six beds for this treatment in first class and eight other beds for business class. Customers can have one, or all three, for free for 30 minutes in each of the business class and first class lounges.
A permanent chef prepares cuisine from different countries as well as Thai food.

The facilities have been earning high praise, says Thai. In 2007 Skytrax, the aviation survey company, asked more than 580,000 people across 90 nations to nominate the best first class lounge in the world. It was no surprise that the Suvarnabhumi lounge, only opened in 2006, won the award.

Said Skytrax CEO, Edward Plaisted of the award: “Thai Airways new Royal First Class Lounge at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport has the most extensive choice of options to satisfy passenger demand, and combines these facilities with exclusive staff service attention to offer what our respondents names as the world’s best.”
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 09:02 PM   #408
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THAI stuck with fuel hedging despite low oil price

Bangkokpost Published: 22/01/2009 at 12:00 AM


Thai Airways International (THAI) remains stuck with its fuel hedging obligations though many airlines have already done without or are minimising them in the wake of low oil prices.

Its hedging commitment will not end before March and the volume accounted for 17% of the flag carrier's fuel consumption, THAI said yesterday.

The airline has been under fire for what critics suggest was excessive hedging of jet fuel volume that significantly contributed to its financial woes and poor outlook. For the second half of last year, the airline hedged 41% of its fuel consumption at a price range between US$86 and $125 a barrel, THAI said.

Toward the end of last year, the spot price of jet fuel stayed at just over $60 a barrel, roughly one-third of the peak in July last year.

The airline sourced the remaining 59% of its jet fuel requirement from spot markets. THAI insisted that its fuel hedging practice was consistent with other international carriers.

It said its hedging was in line with the January 2003 resolution by the national carrier's board that the airline should not hedge more than 50% of its annual fuel requirement with contract terms not exceeding one year.

"The hedging is a risk management tool and not for making profit," it said.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Sopon Zarum ruled out a suggestion that THAI changed the procurement procedure of a fleet of eight A330-300s from a financial lease to a typical lease in order to ease the payment burden on the airline at a time of financial difficulties.

Acting THAI president Narongsak Sangkhapong said the procurement procedure was approved by the past government and there will be no more changes in delivery of the fleet in April.

THAI needs to borrow as much as 19 billion baht in emergency loans from the government to resolve its cash shortage. It expects its first loss in 45 years in 2008 after anti-government protesters shut down Bangkok's main airport.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #409
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THAI wins global award

By The Nation 23/01/2009


Thai Airways International earned No. 1 ranking in the First and Business Class Airport Service category by the 2008 Skytrax global survey of airlines.


Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, said "THAI's new Royal First Class Lounge at Suvarnabhumi Airport has the most extensive choice of options to satisfy passenger demands.These facilities, combined with exclusive staff service attention, offer what our respondents named as the world's best."


Not only has THAI moved up from second place to first in both First and Business Classes, in Economy Class, the ranking on THAI's airport services has also climbed up from fifth to second place. Combining ground and in-flight services together, THAI has shown improvements in all classes of services .


The Skytrax "World Airline Awards" are conducted between August 2007 and August 2008. They are recognized as being one of the global, independent passenger survey of airline standards.


ACM Narongsak Sangapong, THAI's Senior Executive Vice President, Corporate Secretariat and Acting President, said the airline's performance continues to place it in the top echelon of airlines at a time when Skytrax itself pointed to a very tough competition as every airline is also continuing to improve significantly on their products and services.


"We realise that we have to work even harder. Everyone at THAI will strive for further increase in our rankings in the future," Narongsak said.


The ranking took consideration of all of THAI's airport services, from check-in facilities through boarding. THAI's Royal First Class Lounge at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, has attracted highly positive comments since it was open in 2006. In the lounge section, THAI's spa in First Class was ranked five stars. Staff services in THAI's Royal First and Business Classes also earned five stars on service efficiency, enthusiasm and consistency, interacting with customers, problem solving, taking the service to the customers, boarding assistance, and handling delay situations.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #410
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Thai Airways to move flights


BANGKOK - FLAG carrier Thai Airways will move all its remaining domestic flights from Bangkok's decades-old Don Mueang airport to its ultra-modern replacement, airline and ministry officials said on Thursday.

Suvarnabhumi International Airport opened to much fanfare in September 2006, but reports of cracks in one of the runways forced some carriers to move their domestic flights back to the creaking Don Mueang just six months later.

'According to a meeting with Thai Airways, the airline is preparing to shift its domestic flights to Suvarnabhumi airport ... this summer,' Somchai Chanrod, a director at the transport ministry, told AFP.

'This shift will help Thai Airways save costs. According to Thai, it will help the company save up to 700 million baht (S$30 million) a year.'

Thai Airways already operates all its international flights and a handful of domestic routes out of Suvarnabhumi, and a spokeswoman for the carrier said the remaining Thai routes would begin shifting to Suvarnabhumi after March 29.

Mr Somchai told AFP that the government did not have an official single airport policy, but said moving most flights to Suvarnabhumi - which has undergone repairs - would help restore confidence in the aviation and tourism sectors.

Anti-government protesters besieged and occupied both Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports in late November and early December, stranding hundreds of thousands of passengers and battering the vital tourism industry.

The Bangkok Post newspaper reported on Thursday that the two other carriers currently using Don Mueang - Thai Airways' low cost arm Nok Air and budget carrier One Two Go - were still mulling whether to move to Suvarnabhumi. -- AFP
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Old January 26th, 2009, 11:01 AM   #411
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Thai Airways facing serious liquidity problem


Thai Airways has been told that it needs to come up with a convincing plan for its long-term rehabilitation before the government will help it financially, said Thailand’s Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij on Thursday.

The government’s tough stance regarding financial assistance for the national carrier comes at a time that the airline is attempting to deal with difficult financial problems and is need of a cash injection to improve its liquidity.

Poor financial performance at the airline recently has been blamed on fuel hedging commitments and the closing of Bangkok’s two major airports late last year.

Officials at Thai Airways say that the carrier badly needs the government’s financial support. The government owns 51 per cent of the shares in the national airline.

The Finance Ministry is making preparations to lend as much as 200 billion baht to state enterprises that need assistance to maintain their liquidity. The ministry’s plan is expecting cabinet approval on 3 February.

The airline said in a statement released on Thursday that it needs 19 billion baht in order to resolve it liquidity problems.

“THAI also plans to raise 15 billion baht to replace its existing short-term borrowings,” the airline statement added.

The finance minister commented: “The Finance Ministry, as the major shareholder, wants to see a plan that will lead to the financial sustainability of the company and have long-term effects.”

Thanks to www.bangkokpost.com for the above quotes, for more information on this article please visit their website.

www.thaiair.com
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Old January 27th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #412
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Thai Airways drops fares to stimulate travel


In a bid to stimulate travel in and around Thailand, Thai Airways has announced intentions to cut its airfares both domestically and internationally by up to 50%.

Last week the Tourism and Sports Ministry announced 13 tourism recovery initiatives for government approval, one of which was to urge airlines to cut airfares, another already approved initiative was a move to cut visa entry fees for six months.

Already Thai has responded, saying that it has plans to cut domestic fares between 45% and 55%, while international fares may be cut as much as 50%.

“This is the first time the airline [Thai] offers such extra lower airfare,” said Chris Chantalitanon, Thai Airways Thailand, Indochina and Myanmar GM.

Exact prices are expected to be released soon.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 08:39 PM   #413
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THAI departs Don Mueang

Bangkokpost Published: 22/01/2009 at 12:00 AM


Thai Airways International will concentrate its flight services at Suvarnabhumi airport from March 29 to cut costs.

Acting THAI president Narongsak Sangapong yesterday said the return of remaining services from Don Mueang airport to Suvarnabhumi would coincide with the start of the summer flight schedule and should help the airline cut costs, especially on personnel and equipment.

The move complies with the government's single airport policy.

"THAI is ready to move flights back after the end of the winter flight schedule," Mr Narongsak said. "All flights will take off and land at Suvarnabhumi airport. The main reason is to save on management costs and reduce operational duplication from managing activities at both airports at the same time."

Mr Narongsak said the return to Suvarnabhumi would benefit THAI over the longer term.

Serirat Prasutanond, Suvarnabhumi airport director and acting president of Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT), yesterday confirmed the airport was ready to welcome the relocation of flights from Don Mueang.Airport authorities would not need to carry out any special preparations because the move involved the transport of equipment typical of an airline business, he said.

After the relocation of the THAI flights, Mr Serirat said the AoT would work out a clear plan to raise income from the use of Don Mueang. Many chartered and private flights were interested in using the airport, he said.

Nok Air chief executive officer Patee Sarasin said he accepted the single airport policy but his airline needed time to prepare to relocate to Suvarnabhumi.

The preparation could take at least a year or until the second phase expansion of Suvarnabhumi is completed, he said.

One-Two-Go Airlines chairman Udom Tantiprasongchai said if his airline had a choice it would not move to Suvarnabhumi. He questioned whether Suvarnabhumi had sufficient space to accommodate his airline. He also complained that frequent changes in top-level policies had adversely affected airlines.

The Surayud Chulanont administration promoted a dual airport policy which revived flight operations at Don Mueang. The airport had been closed to scheduled flights with the opening of Suvarnabhumi airport in September 2006.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 06:13 PM   #414
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THAI defends fuel hedging strategies

Bangkokpost Published: 31/01/2009 at 12:00 AM


Cash-strapped Thai Airways International (THAI) vowed yesterday to continue with the much-criticised jet fuel hedging as a risk management tool to deal with volatile oil prices. Chai Eamsiri, director of the petroleum and fuel management department, defended the usefulness of fuel hedging and said the flag carrier would continue to apply such a mechanism.

However, future hedging contracts would be less ambitious due to current low oil prices, though he indicated the volume involved may cover the same percentage for March 2009 _ 17% of the airline's monthly fuel consumption.

Critics suggested that the airline's fuel hedging went awry, resulting in six billion baht in losses last year as actual jet fuel prices were substantially lower than the prices at which they were hedged in advance. They charged that poor hedging management contributed to THAI's first loss in 45 years in 2008, an estimated 10 billion baht.

Mr Chai denied that the airline made such a huge loss by locking in long-term contracts at excessive hedged volumes.

He said THAI's hedging practice was similar to those of other airlines around the world that used oil price forecasts by leading global institutional analysts.

Prior to oil prices tumbling at the end of October, there seemed a consensus that crude prices might zoom to US$180-200 a barrel, which did not happen after a peak of $147 a barrel in late July.

The executive said THAI's hedging volumes were lower than those of several competing Asian airlines as it prudently bet on a small volumes in short-term contracts of 3-6 months. Other carriers typically use one- to two-year terms.

Last year, THAI had 14 hedging arrangements with second-half volumes representing 41% of its monthly consumption with a price range of $86-125 a barrel. The airline sourced the remaining 59% of its fuel from spot markets. THAI consumed 22 million barrels of jet fuel last year.

Mr Chai said THAI made no gain or loss for third-quarter hedging, but declined to discuss the fourth quarter, pending notification to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

But he conceded that one hedging contract made for December last year was fixed in September at $137 a barrel, while average Singapore spot prices that month stood at $59. Mr Chai explained that in September average jet fuel prices were projected at about $137 a barrel.

As world oil prices have tumbled and projections are for continued low prices throughout 2009 due to the global crisis, THAI curbed its hedging in the first quarter of this year _ 22% in January and 17% each in February and March.

THAI expects to use 18 million barrels of jet fuel this year as it flies less due to the slowdown in global travel demand.

It said its hedging was in line with the January 2003 resolution by the national carrier's board that the airline should not hedge more than 50% of its annual fuel requirement with contract terms not exceeding one year.

Hedging was never intended as a gamble but a tool to minimise risk from fluctuating fuel prices, the airline insisted.

Aviation analysts say hedging makes sense when prices are going up but nobody wants to be locked into contracts if fuel is cheap in the open market.

THAI also reaffirmed yesterday that its rehabilitation plan for 2009-11 will be completed by mid-February.

Acting president Narongsak Sangapong said in a statement the plan would prepare the company for the changing business environment and deal with liquidity problems.

The business improvement plan will emphasise increasing revenue through improving yields, expanding online sales, as well as revising flight frequencies on non-profitable routes.

THAI is also working on cost and expense controls, such as reducing fuel utilisation and staff expense, including rationalising unnecessary investments.

The plan is due to be tabled at the board meeting on Feb 11.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 04:52 PM   #415
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Upswing for Thai Airways


BANGKOK: Thai Airways has launched more flights to New Delhi and Mumbai and is considering increasing other services as country returns to normal.


It now has 14 services a week to New Delhi and Mumbai – double the previous number.

A senior Thai Airways executive, Narongsak Sangapong, says the increase is to meet demand.

Because of airports closing in November and December, Thai had to reduce about 11% of its flight frequencies on many routes. But passenger numbers had an unexpected upswing last month, indicating that businesses are regaining confidence in returning to Thailand.

Thai is also considering adding more flights to Munich, Milan, Seoul, Guangzhou and Fukuoka from next month.

On the domestic front, Thai has increased frequencies to Udon Thani and Ubon Ratchathani, from two to three flights daily.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 11:27 AM   #416
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Increase in passenger numbers may reduce Thai Airways losses

Thai Airways has reported that it expects to narrow its losses for the year, as fuel prices remain lower and passenger numbers increase.

The Thai national carrier expects a significant loss for 2008, but is now saying that the loss for 2009 could be a small one, according to Raj Tanta-Nanta, the airline’s vice-president for investor relations.

Thai Airways has yet to report its 2008 earnings to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, but it has said that its loss in 2008 was due to high fuel prices and the closing of Bangkok’s two airports by anti-government protesters for a week late last year. More than 300,000 travellers were stranded during the country’s peak travel season when the airports were shut down.

The airline is reportedly filling 75 per cent of its seats at this time, as compared with 63 per cent in December, after Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports reopened. A drop of 70 per cent in the price of jet fuel is also helping reduce operating costs.

More seats are being filled on routes to India, the Middle East and Europe, said the carrier’s vice-president, Pridi Boonsue said. At load factors of 71 per cent, the airline can break even, he added.

Never before in its 44-year history has Thai Airways lost money. Tisco Securities, however, is estimating that the airline lost 16.2 billion baht in 2008 due to foreign-exchange losses and a drop of around 21 per cent in its fourth-quarter passenger traffic.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #417
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Thai airways earnings to drop by 18%

The Nation Published on February 12, 2009


Operating costs to be cut 5-10 per cent immediately

The business-improvement plan of Thai Airways International (THAI) foresees revenue falling 18.18 per cent this year, from Bt220 billion to Bt180 billion, due to the economic turmoil.


Board chairman Surachai Tansitpong said the airline planned to reduce annual operating costs 5-10 per cent. They can be cut 3 per cent immediately, saving about Bt6 billion alone.


The company waived annual commission payments and froze salary adjustments in last year's budget.


THAI will now also implement a hiring freeze until performance recovers.


"The company expects this year's financial results to return to positive territory," said Surachai.


THAI is expected to post a net loss of more than Bt10 billion for 2008, due to the global economic crisis in general and the shutdown of Bangkok's airports in particular.


The airport closure led to a sharp plunge in passenger numbers. In return for a


government guarantee of


a Bt12-billion loan, the airline is required to complete a


business-improvement


plan, which is being readied


by a working group chaired


by director Pichai Chunhava-jira.


The plan will cover the three calendar years from 2009-11. An urgent liquidity injection of Bt20 billion will be included, so that delivery of jumbo Airbus A380 aeroplanes planned for April will remain on schedule.


The board yesterday acknowledged the plan, which will be submitted to the State Enterprise Policy Office next Monday.


THAI plans a shareholders' meeting late next month or in early April, to inform shareholders of the business plan and financial results.


Speaking at a recent symposium in Bangkok, acting president Narongsak Sangapong said: "This year will be one of the most difficult for our industry. Our future success will depend on following the right strategies.


The situation may not be the same for every airline, as each must take into account its own situation and market, but a thorough understanding of the fundamental issues will be essential for success."


Meanwhile, Surachai said he would resign as board chairman soon. His decision is based on the recent change in government.


"It is a decisive move on my part to quit now that the government has changed," he said.


He said 10 board members would also resign along with him. The board has 14 internal and external members.


Surachai assumed the position last November, replacing Chaisawasd Kittipornpaiboon, who retired.
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Old February 13th, 2009, 10:53 PM   #418
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Thai Airways keeps the Stockholm-Bangkok route


Yesterday SAS announced that the route between Bangkok and Stockholm is going to close down due to the airline’s financial problems.

But that’s does not mean that the direct flights between Sweden and one of the countries favourite travel destinations is history. Thanks to the international airline in Thailand, Thai Air, it is still possible for the Swedes to get to the Southeast Asian country in about ten hours.

According to the Swedish newspaper Aftenposten Thai air has officially confirmed that they plan to keep their route between the two capitals.


http://www.scandasia.com/viewNews.ph...e&news_id=5214
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Old February 16th, 2009, 10:37 AM   #419
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THAI says traffic recovery rate faster than expected

Bangkokpost Published: 16/02/2009 at 12:00 AM


The recovery rate of passenger traffic on Thai Airways International flights in the aftermath of the Bangkok airport crisis has been faster than expected, thanks partly to some improvements in the country's international image.

The flag carrier was able to fill 75% of its seats in January after a slump in December when the seizure of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports by anti-government protesters paralysed much of the kingdom's air traffic.

"Our January load factor was much better than expected. We did not think earlier it would ever hit 70%," said THAI executive vice-president Pandit Chanapai.

The improved political landscape, heavy price promotions by THAI and a campaign by the Tourism Authority of Thailand have lessened the impact from the airport upheaval.

The load factor was improving in spite of the general decline in global travel demand, Mr Pandit added.

THAI was forced to cancel more than 1,000 flights from Nov 25 and Dec 4 when thousands of People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) laid siege to the airports to demand the removal of the Somchai Wongsawat government.

The airport seizure cost the airline an estimated 20 billion baht in actual and potential revenue losses.

With the country's international image is gradually restored and various campaigns bearing fruit, Mr Pandit was cautiously optimistic about the continuation of relatively good load factors, saying the February figure should exceed 70%.

Airlines in general need a load factor of around 60-65% to break even.

He said that government leaders' efforts to build the country's image in international forums, including the forthcoming Asean Summit in Hua Hin, were far more effective for reviving travel than any other individual campaign.

THAI has also been restoring its capacity, which was severely cut back after the airport closures, to pre-shutdown levels. The airline does not plan to introduce any new destinations for the rest of this year but intends to increase frequencies on certain routes such as Bangkok-Milan, which will rise to five flights a week in July from four.

Mr Pandit confirmed that there was a good prospect for a pre-tax operating profit this year due to cost controls under a proposed rehabilitation and revenue-improvement plan.

The airline aims to reduce expenditures by 10% between 2009 and 2011. However, securities analysts expect the airline's net loss for 2008 to widen from an earlier forecast of around 10 billion baht to 16 billion because of the surge in oil prices, slowing travel demand and the airport closures.
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Old February 21st, 2009, 10:06 AM   #420
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Fuel-hedging dooms THAI's performance Costs so far could approach B4-6bn

Bangkokpost Published: 20/02/2009 at 12:00 AM


Thai Airways International's bets against high fuel prices in the form of hedging have cost it up to 6 billion baht, compounding the financial woes the national carrier is facing. Senior THAI executives confirmed that the costs of hedging nearly a year ago could be anywhere between 4 billion and 6 billion baht.

The airline recently resumed making hedging contracts for April, after a brief suspension following a volley of criticism of alleged mismanagement of hedging arrangements.

The hedging missteps are expected to contribute to THAI's first loss in 45 years in 2008, estimated at 15 billion baht. It will report its results to the Stock Exchange of Thailand in the next few days.

Benchmark US crude dropped to a 2008 low of US$32.40 a barrel in December from an all-time high above $147 in mid-July. It was trading around $35 this week.

Volatile world oil prices seriously hurt most airlines last year. Those that hedged to protect themselves against rising costs ended up losing money when the price of crude oil slumped.

Chai Eamsiri, director of THAI's petroleum and fuel management department, yesterday conceded that, pending final accounting, the hedging would cost billions of baht but ''it is certainly less than 6 billion baht'' as reported by some media outlets.

He ruled out reports that he was told by the THAI management to stop hedging as jet fuel prices had become more stable, even declining, and to prevent the airline from being burdened with further costs if the hedged prices were lower than actual market levels.

He also denied that there was a change from the January 2003 directive given by the board to reduce hedging volume from the set ceiling _ no more than 50% of its annual fuel requirement with contract terms not exceeding one year.

Mr Chai said the most recent fuel-hedging contracts from April were lower than the level for March contracts which represent 17% of fuel requirements.

The April contracts were hedged at below the current Singapore spot prices, he added. The price stood at US$54.86 a barrel on Wednesday.

In 2008, THAI had 14 hedging arrangements with volumes in the second half representing 41% of its monthly consumption with a price range of $86 to $125 a barrel.

The airline sourced the remaining 59% of its jet fuel requirements from spot markets. THAI's jet fuel consumption last year was 22 million barrels.

''We will definitely continue to use the hedging as a tool to minimise and diversify risks, not to make money or gamble,'' Mr Chai said.

The volume of hedging will largely depend on the market environment and the level of risk we want to take manage in a specific time.''

Jet fuel prices are expected to remain at around $60-70 a barrel in the second half of this year.

THAI shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 7.55 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 3.02 million baht.
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