Thai Airways union lambasts plan to buy more planes

Thai Airways union furious over plan to buy and lease more planes as seen to add strain to debt status.
By: | August 22, 2019

The union representing workers with Thai Airways International has criticised the airline’s recent plan to buy or lease 38 new aircraft, saying it will place further strain on the airline that is already weighed down by debt.

Damrong Waikanee, Union President, said the planned move is estimated to cost THB 130 billion (US$4.22 billion) in the purchase or leasing of new planes. The company’s accumulated debt reportedly already exceeds THB 100 billion (US$3.25 billion).

Staff at operational levels were not given details of the large-scale procurement plan. But Waikanee says he is  keen to know how the investment would be used to improve the company’s balance sheet.

The union president said the move was impractical and “impossible to implement” as even the airline’s rehabilitation programme that includes cutting internal expenses was not working.

Thai Airways has been seeing staff shortages with a hiring freeze remaining in effect, paying increasing overtime levies as a result.