chonetsao wrote:avier wrote:The governments of countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and alike need to realise they don't need state backed airlines.
The airline groups like Lion, AirAsia, SQ group, Jetstar, some strong Vietnam holdings(VietJet), etc can well serve all these markets and countries more efficiently and provide the required connectivity for tourism & business purposes.
Those airline groupings tend to have better cost structures as they achieve economies of scale due to a large presence in different countries by way of subsidiaries and multiple holdings.
So the need for such traditional, state backed, loss making national carriers becomes redundant.
The problem is those countries still need a national airline for long haul and rural destinations. All said airlines (except SQ, then SQ is a quasi-SOE) are good at short haul point to point, but very very bad at long haul. THAI already diversified its short haul and narrow body to Thai Smiles. It is trying.
In THAI's case, THAI is not only an airline, but also a business card representing the whole country's image and is a tourism promoter. It is a national asset. When many people think of Thailand, one of the first thing is the livery of THAI Airways and the beautiful hostess.
National owned airline is not the problem. The problem is the abuse of the appointed management and its corrupted stakeholders. The solution to save THAI is not to abandon the airline as a corpse and let LCC to take over. However, it requires a visionary leader to kill off the old THAI and start a new THAI in the same time. Rehabilitation won't work. Rebirth is required to save airlines like THAI.
Long-haul is the most risky part of aviation business- for airlines in developing countries.
It's a different scenario in the West or Middle East, where traffic flows and yeild makes the overall long haul network viable. In developing countries however, if yield ain't great for long haul, the bleed on the airline would be immense. So long-haul is best left to airlines who can make it work-like those major airline groupings in Asia I mentioned, ME3, or the western airlines. They'll be more than glad to fill up some of Thai Air's long haul network.
All these carriers- Thai Air, Malaysia Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Air India- seem to suck when it comes to making long-haul work viably.
Their respective governments can instead use their financial resources for more pressing issues in their country than constantly fund their heavily-loss making national carriers for sake of national pride.
Like India constantly throwing good money after bad when it comes to Air India, when they have millions in poverty in the country and other pressing issues, just doesn't make any rational sense to keep the national carrier alive. Other airlines, private or foreign, will gladly fill up the vacated routes, and emotional sentiments for such flag carriers be damned.