Thai Airways chairman, Ekniti Nitithanprapas resigns after 16 months on the job, as Thailand’s airline struggles to stem losses. The resignation took effect last Friday when the national carrier made a brief statement to the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Friday night after the market closed. Air Chief Marshal and currently Vice Chairman, Chaiyapruk Didyasarin, will be serving as the acting chairman until further notice.  

Ekniti’s departure followed the resignation of three of the airlines executive directors in the wake of the Airways rehabilitation plan.

The carrier reported a net loss of nearly 6.7 billion baht (USD 220 Million)  in the second quarter of this year; It has not yet reported its third-quarter results.

With its financial status in critical condition, Deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senneam expressed concerns over the carrier being in danger of running up a net loss of well over 10 billion baht (USD 330 Million) for the year. 

Trouble still in the air for Thai Airways 

Even though no particulars have been highlighted in Ekniti’s departure from Thai Airways, but the move seems to be linked to a fallout between government factions. Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob has been pushing for the directors at the 15 state enterprises under the ministry to resign ever since he was appointed to the cabinet in June. 

Paired with the country’s slowdown in tourism and global aviation market factors, the airline has plans to boost liquidity via a 50.8 billion loan from the Thai Government.

However, with the biggest concern of Transport Minister Thaworn being how the carrier is going to revive itself effectively and efficiently given its current liquidity issues. With Thai Airways planning on purchasing a further of 38 aircraft on debt and servicing 25 new flights for a medium-range flight route, the only hope that remains for the airways is to offer its customers premium services paired with a low-cost strategy. 

 

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