Thai Airways International (THAI) and its subsidiaries posted a 29.8 per cent decline in operating profit to 2.9 billion baht (US$91 million), blaming an increase in fuel costs and a seven per cent fall in average passenger yield.
Total revenue was at 191 billion baht, up 11.4 billion baht, or 6.3 per cent, attributed in part to an increase in passengers and excess baggage revenue.
Average cabin factor was 79.2 per cent, up from last year’s 73.4 per cent. This represents the highest in the last 10 years, with 24.6 million passengers carried, representing a 10.3 per cent from the previous year. In RPK terms, passenger traffic increased 14.7 per cent.
On the other hand, the airline reported total expenses of 189 billion baht, an increase of 12.6 billion (7.1 per cent), due in part to the rise in fuel expense by 4.9 billion (10.8 per cent).
Overall, the group reports net loss of nearly 2.1 billion baht, after taking into account one-time expenses, which it says were “mainly from the impairment of assets and aircraft and the loss on foreign currency exchange”.
Last year, the Rolls-Royce TRENT 1000 engines installed in THAI’s six Boeing 787-8 had issues with their turbine blades, an issue that affected other airlines too. Having to ground affected aircraft in order to send engines for overhaul resulted in increased cost and lost revenue from impacted schedules. However, THAI says it is in the process of negotiating compensation for such effects.