Embattled carrier Thai Airways is planning to retire all of its A380, A330 and 747 aircraft, according to local media reports. The carrier will only operate the A350, 787, and 777-300ER for its future services. The carrier, which first sought bankruptcy protection in May, is also planning to lay off 395 pilots as part of its restructuring and rehabilitation plan.
In November, ultra-low airline startup Avatar Airlines has made an offer to buy state-owned Thai Airways’ Boeing 747 fleet, which is in the process of retiring. Avatar Airlines also made a similar offer to British Airways to buy its Boeing fleet.
The startup wants to fly the Boeing 747 aircraft domestically. Avatar’s founder and chief executive officer Barry Michaels told the media, “We’ve developed a creative and considerable investment opportunity for Thai Airways to convert some of its unused and off-lease wide-body aircraft and potentially realise a far greater return than if the aircraft were simply liquidated for cash.”
Thai Airways, was previously was state-owned. However, to seek bankruptcy protection, the government had to sell down its majority stake to qualify for bankruptcy protection under Thai law.
During the first half of 2020, Thai Airways reported losses of around $900 million. The carrier further revealed that its losses for the second quarter of 2020 stood at around $170 million. The losses incurred were due to the coronavirus pandemic which forced the carrier to halt all operations during the period.