Thai Airways reportedly plans to place orders for four to six widebody long haul aircraft and five to seven twin-aisle medium haul aircraft over the next five years, as it retires aging B747 and A300 aircraft (Bangkok Post, 26-Oct-2009).
Thai Airways seeks replacements for aircraft being retired over next five years
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Southeast Asia LCC fleet expansion to reaccelerate in 2017 after rare single digit growth in 2016
Southeast Asia’s low cost airline fleet grew by only 7% in 2016, representing the slowest growth in several years. The region’s two main groups, AirAsia and Lion, both slowed their growth significantly, with AirAsia slightly reducing its Southeast Asian fleet in 2016.
Southeast Asian LCCs ended 2016 with a fleet of 623 aircraft – up a modest 41 aircraft compared to the beginning of the year. The same group of 21 airlines added 67 aircraft in 2015 and 61 aircraft in 2014.
Several airlines responded to overcapacity, which peaked in 2014 following a period of overzealous capacity expansion, by deferring aircraft deliveries. Overcapacity continues to persist in several Southeast Asian markets, but some LCCs are reaccelerating expansion in 2017. Given the sector’s huge order book it is likely 2016 will represent the low point in Southeast Asian LCC fleet growth.
Thai Airways Outlook Part 3: new five-year plan to result in more orders, potentially faster growth
The Thai Airways Group is determining a growth rate and assessing its aircraft needs for the medium to long term as part of a new five-year plan. The new plan should be completed by mid-2017 and may result in new narrowbody and widebody aircraft orders by the end of 2017.
Thai Airways is at an important juncture with its fleet as it has only 12 outstanding aircraft orders, all of which will be delivered in 2017 and 2018. The group currently does not have any commitments for additional narrowbody aircraft, which are needed to continue pursuing regional international growth at its full service subsidiary Thai Smile in line with its current multi-brand strategy.
New widebody aircraft are also required for growth and replacements, starting with its ageing 747-400 fleet. The group’s widebody passenger fleet will increase from 72 to 77 aircraft by the end of 2017, partially offsetting recent reductions in the fleet.