THAI Airways will not be investing in airlines anytime soon, the national carrier clarified, ending speculation that it would acquire a stake in budget airline Thai AirAsia.
Narongchai Wongthanavimok, executive vice president in the airline’s finance and accounting department, in a letter to the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), stated: “Thai Airways has not yet considered any investment in any airlines for the time being. Should there be any development on this front, Thai Airways will properly notify SET as soon as possible.”
Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia, in a letter to SET confirmed this. “Only a discussion of the strategic planning for the aviation industry with other Thai registered airlines (took place) without any discussion on stock acquisition from Thai Airways,” it stated.
However, THAI acknowledged in the letter that it was looking to formulate strategies for the aviation industry along with other Thai-operated airlines to help bolster Thailand’s transport and tourism sectors.
Still, the statement quashes reports that the airline had been on the verge of acquiring a stake of at least 20 per cent in Thai AirAsia, valued at five billion baht (US$140 million).
Despite raking in four billion baht in profits in 4Q2015, THAI has reported an overall loss of 14 billion baht in 2015, a small improvement from the airline’s 15 billion baht loss in 2014.