As travel demand continues to recover in the region and internationally, Thai Airways International is considering the future of its Airbus A380 aircraft, “studying closely” the option to bring back the double-decker.
Speaking at the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines Assembly of Presidents hosted by Thai Airways in Bangkok, Thailand, the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Korakot Chatasingha stated that the carrier is “studying closely” whether to bring the Airbus A380 back to service. Prior to the breakout of COVID-19, Thai Airways had six A380s, all of which were moved to storage in Thailand. While four are sitting on the tarmac at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), two (HS-TUE and HS-TUF) are stored at Rayong Pattaya U-Tapao International Airport (UTP).
“As you know, to bring them and return them to service costs a lot of money,” added Chatasingha.
While it had to go through bankruptcy proceedings in 2020, the airline has been slowly recovering and per its Q3 2022 financial report, finally managed to achieve a profitable quarter since the outbreak of COVID-19. It earned THB32.86 billion ($913 million) in revenue throughout the third quarter of the year, resulting in a three-month profit of THB3.9 billion ($108.4 million), an increase of 173.8% compared to the same period a year prior.
Thailand restarted quarantine-free travel on February 1, 2022.
In terms of its Airbus A380s, the airline previously explored potential options to sell two of them, namely HS-TUE and HS-TUF. In March 2021, Thai Airways issued a request for proposals. Seemingly, nobody took up the offer, as the Super Jumbo became one of the most unwanted aircraft since COVID-19 essentially halted international travel in the region and internationally.
Most recently, it also looked for any potential parties interested in buying six Boeing 777-200 aircraft, with potential bidders having until November 21, 2022, to put forward their proposals for the six wide-body aircraft.
Thai Airways currently owns 46 aircraft, six of which are deemed as stored, per planespotters.net.