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Thai Airways may stop direct flights to four SE Asian countries

Update: October, 23/2019 - 08:06


A view of Bangkok at night. — Photo

HCM CITY — Thai national flag carrier Thai Airways International is considering stopping direct routes between its capital Bangkok and Việt Nam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, according to Sumeth Damrongchaitham, president of the airline.

The six routes connect Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok with Vientiane and Luang Prabang in Laos, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Yangon in Myanmar, and Hà Nội and HCM City in Việt Nam.

If the airline decides to stop the direct flights, Thai Smile Airways, a wholly owned subsidiary of Thai Airways, would service these routes.

Damrongchaitham said the routes faced stiff competition from budget airlines.

Thai Airways is considering a plan to restructure its network and improve revenues, including more efficient usage of new technologies. 

The carrier recently announced it would defer its long-planned fleet renewal drive by at least six months, which was expected to include purchase of 38 new aircraft worth 1.5 billion baht (US$49.5 million). 

To maintain its competitiveness, the carrier will have to reduce its debts versus assets and boost its working capital with support from the ministries of Transport and Finance. 

It plans to borrow about 3.2 billion baht in fiscal 2020 in line with the budget limit set by Thailand’s Office of Public Debt Management to update equipment and maintain existing aircraft.

Bangkok is a popular destination for Vietnamese. Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, and Jetstar, among others, fly direct routes to Bangkok. — VNS 

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