Thai Airways falls into red despite passenger numbers rising

Thai Airways falls into red despite passenger numbers rising

Thai Airways fell into the red last year despite increased passenger numbers, load factors and new aircraft.

The carrier suffered a net loss of 2.11 billion baht ($67.41 million) for the 2017 fiscal year, blaming aircraft maintenance, an impairment loss and higher fuel prices.

Thai, which reported a profit of 15.14 million baht in 2016, missed analysts estimates of 2.6 billion baht in profits for 2017.

The downturn came even though passenger carryings rose by more than 10% to 24.6 million as international tourist arrivals to Thailand increased by 9.9% to 35.2 million.

Load factor of 79.2% was the highest in a decade and up from 73.4% a year earlier.

However, the airline warned that competition from low-cost carriers and upward trend of fuel prices were risks for the year ahead.

Thai carriers have been struggling to make the most of a boom in tourism to Thailand, with a 6% rise in tourists to 37.55 million expected this year.

Thai Airways expected to receive five new Airbus A350-900s this year to fly long-haul and regional routes.

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