Defying Turbulence: Thai Airways Plots Recovery Path With India In Its Sights

Rising from the ashes of bankruptcy in 2020, Thai Airways, under CEO Chai Eamsiri’s leadership, plans a growth-focused revival, doubling its reduced fleet size as part of a fresh strategy. Interestingly, India, along with Bangladesh and Pakistan, has come into sharp focus for this strategy as Eamsiri aims to expand the airline’s global footprint.

What Happened? COVID-19’s disruption of travel from China, a major tourism market for Thailand, has prompted this strategic shift towards India.

Eamsiri sees the potential in the growing number of Indian visitors to Thailand. In 2022 alone, close to a million Indians visited Thailand, making India a vital source of tourists. This trend continues, with 600,000 Indians travelling to Thailand in just the first five months of this year.

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Thai Airways also plans to cater to this burgeoning Indian market with an increased fleet of 113 aircraft by 2027, up from the current 65.

This expansion primarily involves smaller, “narrow-body” planes, optimized for short-haul flights and ideal for less crowded destinations in India, not limited to the bustling metropolises of Delhi and Mumbai.

Despite its past struggles with ineffective management and financial losses, Thai Airways now finds itself on a recovery path, even posting an operating profit in 2022.

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