The legacy carrier is seeing intensifying low-cost competition on Asian routes.
Thai Airways International and its subsidiaries posted a 29.8% drop in operating profit for the year to 2.9 billion baht (€76 million), despite the highest load factor for 10 years.
Including one-off expenses, the group reported a net loss of 2.1 billion baht. The group blamed rising fuel costs and a 7% fall in average passenger yield.
Three months ago, Thai swung to a narrow third-quarter profit but warned that low-cost competition would intensify following the removal of a ban on new international flights by Thai-based carriers.
Low-cost rivals such as Thai Vietjet, NokScoot and Thai AirAsia X are all now adding flights to destinations in Asia, increasing pressure on legacy carriers. Like Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific, Thai has been reporting falling ticket prices.
More passengers, more expenses
Total revenues for the year stood at 191 billion baht, up 6.3%, partly due to a rise in passenger numbers (up 10.3% to 24.6 million passengers) and excess baggage revenues.
The cabin factor was 79.2%, up from the previous year’s 73.4%, now at its level highest in the last 10 years. In RPK terms, passenger traffic increased by 14.7%.
But total expenses were 189 billion baht, up 7.1%, which included a 10.8% rise in fuel costs.