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Thai reveals plan to buy 23 new aircraft

The planes are likely to be a mixture of widebody and narrowbody aircraft for Thai Airways and Thai Smile.

Thai Airways is aiming to buy 23 new aircraft worth around 100 billion baht (€2.57 billion) to replace decommissioned planes, the country’s transport minister has revealed.

The purchase, subject to cabinet approval, is part of the state-owned Thai carrier’s 2018-2023 five-year plan, news agency Reuters reports Arkhom Termpittayapaisith as saying.

The airline aims to place an order for 13 widebody and 10 narrowbody aircraft – an announcement that comes during a time of transition and new leadership, in the final phase of a reconstruction plan aimed at restoring profitability that began in 2015.

Thai Airways posted a net loss in 2017 and a 14% decline in net profit for the January-March 2018 period.

Earlier this week, a new chairman was appointed for the airline and a new chief executive will start work later this year. The carrier also expanded its maintenance, repair and overhaul service business last month, through partnerships with Rolls-Royce and Airbus.

Likely aircraft types
Also last month, researchers at the Centre for Aviation reported that Thai Airways was about to order about 20 planes, including A320neos for the group’s regional wing Thai Smile as well as new-generation widebody aircraft for the main airline.

New-gen widebody options might include Boeing 787s or Airbus A350s or A330neos, Reuters speculates.

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