Q3 loss puts Thai Airways deeper in the red

Thai Airways will cut the salaries of its top management by 10 per cent this month as part of plans to slash operating costs.
Thai Airways will cut the salaries of its top management by 10 per cent this month as part of plans to slash operating costs.PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK • Thai Airways International yesterday reported a net loss for the second consecutive quarter in July to September as foreign exchange losses and weaker operating revenue outweighed rising passenger numbers.

Thailand's flagship carrier, which is among a number of state-controlled companies undergoing reform since the military seized power in May last year, will cut the salaries of its top management by 10 per cent this month as part of plans to slash operating costs by 20 billion baht (S$792 million) for 2015 to 2016.

It has cut costs by about 7 billion baht, below the target, the carrier's president Charumporn Jotikasthira told a news conference.

The airline reported a net loss of 9.9 billion baht, below an average of 11 billion baht forecast by two analysts polled by Reuters.

This compares with a profit of 1.08 billion baht a year earlier and its worst quarterly loss of 12.8 billion baht in the previous quarter.

It posted a foreign exchange loss of 4.53 billion baht due to revaluation of its foreign currency loans, a statement said.

Hit by fierce competition and a weak economy, the airline posted a nine-month net loss of 18 billion baht, surpassing a loss of 15.6 billion baht for the whole of last year.

The aviation industry is expected to grow steadily in the fourth quarter due to economic relief from lower oil prices, but the air cargo business in the Asia-Pacific region is likely to come under pressure, the statement said.

Thai Airways has seen the value of its shares fall nearly 30 per cent over the past 12 months.

The stock closed down 2.45 per cent on Wednesday, recovering from a nearly 4 per cent drop to the lowest since April 2009.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2015, with the headline 'Q3 loss puts Thai Airways deeper in the red'. Print Edition | Subscribe