Profit Growth for Thai Airlines Seen Amid Tourism Rebound

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited alongside Bangkok Airways Public Company Limited have announced a significant increase in their Q1 profits due to a resurgence of tourists to Thailand.

In the first quarter, Thai Air reported a net income of 12.51 billion baht (US$370 million), marking a significant improvement from the net loss of 3.25 billion baht in the same period the previous year.

Concurrently, Bangkok Airways’ net income stood at 875 million baht, contrasting with a net loss of 1.02 billion baht in the same quarter of the previous year.

The Finance Ministry is forecasting nearly 30 million international arrivals in 2023, a substantial increase from the previous year’s 11.2 million visitors.

Bangkok Airways’ stock saw an increase of up to 4.9%, reaching 14.90 baht, a three-month high. Similarly, shares of Asia Aviation Public Company Limited, which oversees Thai AirAsia Company, saw a rise of up to 3.7%.

The earnings of the latter are set to be disclosed on May 15. Thai Air’s shares, on the other hand, have been in a trading suspension since May 2021 due to ongoing debt restructuring.

Thai Air’s Q1 total operating revenue saw a more than threefold increase, reaching 41.5 billion baht from the previous year’s 11.2 billion baht, a time when borders were shut down to contain Covid-19. Bangkok Airways’ total revenue experienced a 238% increase, amounting to 5.74 billion baht.

Thai Air is set to finalize its court-monitored debt restructuring by the end of 2024. The airline had applied for bankruptcy protection in 2020, after which most creditors agreed to modify terms under a $5.3 billion rehabilitation plan.

The government is anticipating that the influx of Chinese travelers will stimulate the tourism sector further, with monthly arrivals from China expected to reach 1 million from October onwards, a milestone not achieved since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Moreover, Thailand is looking to lure affluent tourists from the Middle East in the latter half of this year as a potential new source of growth, as reported by the Bangkok Post, quoting Apichai Chatchalermkit, the deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).