Thai Airways International PCL including all of its subsidiaries, made a net loss of 1.6 billion baht ($45 million) for the July-September quarter versus a loss of 9.9 billion baht the same period LY.
The airline posted an operating loss of 836 million baht, improved from a loss of 3.4 billion baht a year earlier as fuel expenses dropped 33.6 percent and the number of passengers rose 7.6 percent to 5.5 million.
It also booked an impairment loss on assets and aircraft of 624 million baht for the quarter, but recorded gains of 120 million baht from foreign exchange.
The airline is considering expansion of international services after scaled down operations in the past two years. The restructuring scheme included cutting unprofitable routes and reduced operating costs.
Analysts expect the airline to record a profit in the fourth quarter thanks to the high travel season and low fuel prices.
Nok Airlines, the budget unit of Thai Airways, in a Reuters report last week noted the airline made a net loss of 959 million baht, versus a loss of 424 million baht a year earlier, due to lower-than-expected revenue growth and rising costs related to fleet expansion.
Bangkok Airways Pcl however posted a 14 percent increase in third quarter net profit due to rising passenger numbers and revenues after opening new routes and increasing flight frequency in July.
Commenting on the results, THAI president, Charamporn Jotikasthira, said THAI continued with its second phase of its transformation plan building on the airline’s strengths in various areas and using information technology to improve revenue management and other services such as fare management system to respond rapidly to competitive fares in the market place.
It is also working on improving route network connectivity.
The airline’s management claims it will lead to “sustainable growth” in 2017.
In the third quarter, THAI took delivery of one Airbus A350-900XWB in August and decommissioned a leased Boeing 777-200. The airline has a fleet of 94 aircraft in service down one aircraft from a year ago.
Non-fuel operating expenses increased by 6.7% due to more traffic production, maintenance and overhaul expenses such as higher engine maintenance costs and the need for more engine spare parts compared to the same period last year.
The decreases in fuel surcharge resulted in a reduction of passenger and excess baggage revenue by 919 million baht (-2.5%). Freight and mail revenue increased by 189 million baht (+4.3%).
Loss per share was 0.73 baht compared to 4.54 baht last year.
Written by : Andrew J Wood