The financial performance of Thai Airways International improved in the second quarter of 2016, but not enough for the airline to register a profit.
For the April-June period, the national carrier posted an operating loss of THB1.78 billion (US$51 million), which marked a 62% improvement compared to the same period last year. Net losses for the period totalled THB2.92bn.
But for the first half of 2016, THAI generated an operating profit of THB5.40bn, which marks a significant upturn compared to the THB297m loss recorded in the first half of 2015.
THAI’s Q2 performance was driven by a sharp drop in expenses, and fuel costs in particular. The airline’s fuel bill decreased by 21%, or THB3.18bn, while non-fuel operating expenses were trimmed by 0.6.
Passenger revenues declined 1.6%, following a 0.6% dip in passenger traffic. THAI blamed this on a number of factors, including the traditional Thai low season, “fierce competition, especially in the Asia Pacific”, and the impact of terrorism in Europe. The airline’s average cabin load factor slipped to just 69%.
THAI also decommissioned one aircraft in Q2, reducing its total fleet size to 94 jets.