Bangkok, the 13th of August 2010: Thai airways plan to borrow approximately Bt20 billion from four separate Thai-owned banks, including Bt12 billion from Bangkok Bank, Bt3 billion from TMB Bank, Bt2 billion from Thanachart Bank and Bt3 from Tisco Bank, in order to finance a planned upgrade of the national carriers fleet of aircraft.
The planned upgrade and expansion plans have been labelled as an attempt to cater for the changing demands of passengers and to increase capacity of the carrier in order to deal with the return of tourism to the Kingdom following the recent political unrest.
“Tourists came back quickly after the political situation stabilized, so we’re now revisiting our old problem of aircraft shortages,” stated THAI president Mr. Amranand.
THAI, whose major competitor in the region is Singapore Airlines Ltd has sort to modernise its fleet and expand routes available to travellers, the airline agreeing to purchase some 15 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus in June, replacing currently ageing planes.
Contracts were signed on Friday to acquire seven brand new Airbus A330-300s to be delivered in 2011 adding to the existing fleet of 20 A330-300s. Talks are still ongoing in the relation to a lease agreement of 8 new Boeing 777-300 ER’s.
At present, the Thai Airways fleet consists of 88 aircraft with plans to retire approximately 25 before the end of 2015. In a previous report presented to the THAI board, it is estimated that Thai Airways will have approximately 108 aircraft by 2026 with an average age of 7.5 years.