Thai Airways warns of bad losses ahead

Passenger numbers in March fell almost 21%

Thai Airways has warned of a worse-than-expected net loss for the first quarter of 2014, as a direct result of the recent political unrest in Thailand as well as tough low-cost competition.

“First quarter net loss will be higher than what we had expected by THB30 million (€673,000),” the airline’s acting president, Chokchai Panyayong, said without being more specific.

Passenger numbers in March fell almost 21% compared to March 2013, to 1.59 million, he said. The number of seats sold in the first quarter fell to 71.1% from 79.8% in Q1 2013, with March seeing a year-on-year drop of 11.6 percentage points to 68.7%.

Thai had already been suffering, posting a third consecutive quarter of losses in Q4 2013.