It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see a company hemorrhaging money and with no respite in sight is not likely to survive much longer.
Such is the case of Thailand’s former national carrier Thai Airways that today posted a record Q3 loss of more than 21.53 billion baht.
An astounding amount considering the airline was already struggling during the same period last year when its losses were ‘only’ 4.68 billion baht.
In recent months, the company has implemented a debt restructuring plan with limited success and, in an effort to make money anywhere they can, have resorted to opening Thai Airways pop-up cafes to sell ‘airline food’, selling patong-go (deep-fried dough) through various retail outlets, and even tried to find buyers for 34 gas-guzzling planes in an economy where airlines all over the world are struggling to survive.
(Bids for that ‘deal’ close tomorrow).
Now, with Thai Airways’ deficit up more than four fold from this time last year, things not only look increasingly dire for the mismanaged airline but, if a solution cannot be found quickly, it seems a complete Thai Airways collapse and subsequent closure is imminent.
With the number of passengers on Thai Airways flights down 92% from the third quarter of 2019, and Thailand’s borders all but shut down to everyone but a miniscule number of foreign arrivals, there is little or no chance the airline can dig themselves out of the predicament they are in any time soon.
As Thailand’s economy continues to worsen due to border closings, mass anti-government demonstrations and the ineptitude of the Thai government, even fewer domestic flights will also be taken.
After all, when people are struggling to buy basic necessities, paying for plane tickets is rarely in their budget.
To make the Thai Airways situation even worse, according to the Stock Exchange of Thailand today, trading in THAI shares was suspended after auditors refused to comment on the company’s balance sheet to the end of the third quarter.
When that happens, a company is in dire straits and the Stock Exchange of Thailand knows it.
Is a Thai Airways collapse imminent?
While this writer does not have a crystal ball and cannot predict the future, it certainly doesn’t look good now, does it?