Effective 1 May 2007, TG will increase to daily nonstops from BKK to both JFK and LAX, utilizing 4 A340-500 aircraft.
Highlights from the article
- Thai lost US$142 Million on flights to the United States in 2006
- US flights, whether non-stop or with a stop along the way will never make money, due to price competition
- Switching from A345’s to 744’s, A340-600’s or 772ER’s will not stem the losses
- Options include having the JFK flights stop in PEK or PVG and the LAX flights stop at ICN.
- Singapore flights from SIN-JFK are also losing money.
- Russian over flight fees are US$20,000 per flight.
- Thai is looking for a way for these flights to earn money but can’t find a way out.
- Cabin factor is 80% to 90% on the USA flights.
- The A340-500 is not economical on routes shorter than these Ultra Long Haul flights.
- Selling the 4 A340-500’s is not an option as they are only 2 years old and would have to be sold at a heavy discount.
Bottom line: Thai says it may be better off keeping the US flights running at a loss for the sake of supporting its network and connectivity, feeding traffic from North America to other profitable routes.
Thai made a profit of about US$114 Million in the latest quarter ending 31 Dec 2006.