60% of THAI Airways fleet back in service

16th Nov 2022

Thai Airways Plane

60% of Thai Airways' pre-pandemic fleet has returned to operation, according to the company. The company says it will add nine more planes to its fleet next year. The country's flag carrier says that more tourists have helped the struggling airline.Thai Smile Airways, which is a branch of THAI, has also seen a recovery, as more people want to fly domestically, with more than 90% of its fleet returning to service.

Thai Air and Thai Smile operate a total of 713 flights each week to 68 destinations. They operate 63 flights per week in Europe, 227 flights per week inside the United States, and 21 flights per week in Australia. The CCO reports that Japanese and Indian routes are seeing a rise in passengers as aircraft capacity has almost reached the 2019 peak.

According to the Bangkok Post, THAI's chief commercial officer said that the company plans to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region because the number of passengers is expected to rise by 4.5% to 2.53 billion by 2040.This would be more than anywhere else, so it would be a safe bet to improve airline service.THAI presently operates 44 aircraft, compared to 83 before the pandemic. However, a relaxation of COVID rules has enabled the carrier to recover.

Europe has seen a return of 80% of its passengers during the months of December and January, when demand was high (high season). THAI plans to start flying to China's biggest cities again in the second quarter of 2023, when the country is likely to be fully open again.Also, the company plans to meet demand by adding five more wide-body aircraft and four more narrow-body aircraft.

However, the CCO says that high airfares will stay that way as long as geopolitical tensions don't show signs of making global fuel costs go down. According to him, such fuel prices account for 40% of the airline's operating expenses.