January 14, 2011
Thai Airways said on Friday its cabin factor, the percentage of seats sold, was at 73.7 percent in 2010, up 0.8 percentage points from 2009, and it planned to expand its fleet in the next seven years.
Its board has approved plans to take delivery of 26 new aircraft in 2011-2017 -- 12 Airbus A330-300s and eight Boeing 777-300ERs plus six Airbus A380-800s, it said in a statement after a board meeting.
As part of a plan to boost efficiency and save costs, Thai Airways will increase the number of planes in its fleet to 105 by the end of 2017 from 85 now.
It plans to buy 37 new planes and boost the number of flights during that period, decommissioning older aircraft.
The airline expected operating revenue growth of 7-10 percent per year in its long-term business plan ending 2017, while growth in passenger numbers should be in line with that of the overall industry at 5 percent, it said.
Thai Airways' cabin factor was 75.3 percent in December, up 4.9 points from November, it said.
Thai also planned to spend THB150 million baht (USD$4.9 million) to raise its stake in its budget airline, Nok Air, to 49 percent from 39 percent.
The airline would buy 5 million shares in Nok Air at 30 baht each from Krung Thai Bank, pending negotiations with the state bank.
The airline will raise employee salaries by 7 percent and pay a bonus worth three months of salary for the improved performance in 2010, it said.
It reported a net profit of THB12.4 billion (USD$407 million) in the first nine months, thanks to cost-cutting and a recovery in tourism after a period of political unrest that ended in May.