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Thai Airways says will cut workforce by half


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Thai Airways plans slimmer fleet and workforce in turnaround plan

By Chayut Setboonsarng

 

2021-03-02T063746Z_1_LYNXNPEH210AB_RTROPTP_4_THAI-AIRWAYS-RESCUE.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Workers service a Thai Airways Airbus A380-800 aircraft at Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand September 3, 2019. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai Airways International Pcl said on Tuesday it is cutting its workforce by half and reducing its fleet size to become a more agile and efficient airline, as the troubled flag carrier submitted its turnaround plan, officials said.

 

The airline was in difficulty well before the coronavirus pandemic grounded flights across the globe, booking losses nearly every year after 2012, with a record loss of 141.1 billion baht ($4.66 billion) last year.

 

The carrier plans to maintain 13,000 to 15,000 employees on its books by 2025, acting president, Chansin Treenuchagron told a briefing, adding the move would make it more agile.

 

It currently has about 19,500 full-time employees, down from 28,000 in 2019, and expects 6,000 to leave the company by the end of this year.

 

These reductions are part of initiatives such as re-negotiating leases that will save the airline 52 billion baht by 2022, he said.

 

"Thai Airways faced problems from intense competition from low budget carriers, open skies policies and then the global pandemic," he said.

 

The announcement came after the airline last month cut 240 management positions and reduced supervisory levels from eight to five to increase efficiency.

 

Thai Airways plans also plans to reduce its fleet size to 86 aircraft by 2025 and halve the number of different aircraft and engines types to lower costs.

 

Its recovery plan submitted to the country's Legal Execution Department will need approval from its creditors and the Central Bankruptcy court.

 

Chansin said he was very confident that the revamp plan would receive creditor approval. "We worked very hard and closely together."

 

Creditors will meet on May 12 to decide on the plan, if it passes, it will be sent to the court, which will come to a decision around June or July, Chansin said.

 

The plan calls for capital raising or borrowing of about 50 billion baht for the airline's needs over two years so it would have liquidity as operations increase, vice president for finance Chai Eamsiri said.

 

There would be no haircut for creditors, but instead will extend repayment periods, he added.

 

Thai Airways previously said it would sell off non-core assets including four Boeing 737-400 engines, a training facility in Bangkok, shares in Bangkok Aviation Fuel Services Pcl and budget carrier, Nok Airlines Pcl, which is also undergoing a bankruptcy protected recovery.

 

($1 = 30.28 baht)

 

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty and David Evans)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-03-02
 
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6 minutes ago, LoliLoso said:

Planned to cut......next few years ??' I don't think it can survive through the next few months.😂

if you measure 'survival' by profitably, then its dead and buried already and has been for most of its existence.  

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3 minutes ago, petermik said:

If only Freddy Laker was still with us....:thumbsup:

A good man, a visionary, with little  business/ financial  acumen worth the word. Borrowed in dollars to fund Sky Train when it was over $2 to the pound when it was clearly an unsustainable exchange rate.  Great idea though but nobody has been able to break that Trans Atlantic price scam, not even Virgin and not Norwegian, who seemed to have the right idea.   Shame 

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Can't wait to see all the details of the long awaited 'Rehabilitation Plan'; should be fun reading if we are ever allowed to see it !

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1 hour ago, PatOngo said:

I wonder if they've considered replacing airline pilots with tuk tuk drivers to save money?

I thought they did that 15 years ago.  It certainly seemed like it.

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13 hours ago, webfact said:

There would be no haircut for creditors, but instead will extend repayment periods, he added.

Inside or outside the creditors life expectancy ? 

Edited by RichardColeman
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2 minutes ago, decca60 said:

Thai says ""cutting half of their workforce "meaning people who really work...... it's gonna be a short cut............

 

One assumes they excluded the dead people, and the chaps working 40 hours per day.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Misterwhisper said:

So... you're saying the airline currently still employs 30,000 people, Mr. Chansin? 30 THOUSAND????

 

I am beginning to understand at least one of the reasons how Thai Airways got itself into such financial trouble. Not even the largest European car manufacturers have that many employees... let alone a national airline. 

I suspect that the “30 thousand” figure is total people “on the books” in any form - be that long-term redundancy, voluntary leaves and any other type of leave where by rights of recall exists.

 

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Good luck on that one, make sure to line all your not completely full pockets to the rim before the whole thing implodes and the bill is being presented to the tax payer .......... 

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The only solution that makes any sense is for the government to sell all but 10% of it's shares to Private (non government related) companies so that it can be run as a private business without the taxpayers pockets.

 

That will ensure that it is run profitably as share holders will want profits as well as the creditors.

 

The other solution is for the government to give shares to the creditors so that they can decide the fate of the airline and ensure that they get reimbursed and have control of the board of directors

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18 hours ago, webfact said:

Thai Airways International Pcl said on Tuesday it is cutting its workforce by half and reducing its fleet size to become a more agile and efficient airline, as the troubled flag carrier submitted its turnaround plan, officials said

And what about the management?

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2 hours ago, realfunster said:

I know spending 30 seconds to read a couple of hundred words is a  real challenge, so let me help you....

 

It currently has about 19,500 full-time employees, down from 28,000 in 2019, and expects 6,000 to leave the company by the end of this year.”

The headline says they will cut half of it's staff. It then goes on to say:

"The carrier plans to maintain 13,000 to 15,000 employees on its books by 2025.....

 

It currently has about 19,500 full-time employees".

So, that's not half? Further reading shows that the numbers/cuts are since 2019, not from the date of the article

Edited by Andrew65
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18 hours ago, trainman34014 said:

Can't wait to see all the details of the long awaited 'Rehabilitation Plan'; should be fun reading if we are ever allowed to see it !

it will start off:

 

'Once upon a time children there was a big bad wolf called 'Profit', who stalked the corridors of power, at a mystical place called Thai Airways'...........

Edited by Pilotman
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21 hours ago, webfact said:

 

"Thai Airways faced problems from intense competition from low budget carriers, open skies policies and then the global pandemic," he said.

 


Oh I did not realise!! I thought its was an inept attitude to management and managers lack of need to turn a profit as the government bailed it every year (until now).

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The news all the time mention these "four Boeing 737-400 engines", as the four engines more or less can save THAI. From my past airline experience a spare jet-engine is a relative minor investment, and old, almost outdated, 737-400 engines are not extremely hot items...🤔

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Truly hope that Thai don't cheat on aircraft maintenance. Would be a big short term saving and knowing the mentality of profit before anything else this could be a real possibility.

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There's an old 747 being turned into a food court in the centre of Pattaya. Expect to see much more of these old wrecks being turned into tourist attractions in the near future. 

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