BANGKOK - Thai Airways International (THAI) operated its last international service out of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport – flying to Frankfurt on Wednesday - before going into “hibernation" to May 31 at the earliest.
When the flag carrier does return it is likely to be a much-changed airline with its executive team using the downtime to explore ways to turn around the financially-troubled airline.
The airline is bracing to introduce pay cuts, austerity measures and downsize the operations of its affiliated businesses, according to local news reports.
THAI is not alone in having to restructure its business due to the devastating impact on international airline operations caused by COVID-19.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects airlines to burn through US$61 billion of their cash reserves in the second quarter of the year, which ends on June 30.
"Airlines cannot cut costs fast enough to stay ahead of the impact of this crisis. We are looking at a devastating net loss of US$39 billion in the second quarter," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director-general and CEO.