Thai Airways management proposed that the Finance Ministry, which currently holds 51%, reduce its stake in the carrier to allow for more flexibility in conducting business overseas (The Nation, 02-Jun-2011). Permanent secretary Areepong Bhoocha-oom said the ministry agreed with the proposal in principle but there had been no mention on the extent of the dilution of its stake, "however, the ministry should control at least 30-40%". State Enterprise Policy Office (Sepo) director-general Somchai Sujjapongse said the Finance Ministry had also discussed diluting its shareholding, adding: "If THAI wants to be privatised and it can raise funds by itself as it has strong financial status, we [the authority] are ready. However, at the moment it is just talk, they have not come up with a concrete plan."
Thai Airways wants ministry to cut stake
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Southeast Asia Fleet Outlook:
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Airline disruption: it will happen in the next decade - but no one is preparing for it
Why so unprepared? It seems inconceivable that the structure of an industry with so many artificial constraints can remain intact much past 70 years, while all around it has changed.
This decade alone has been witness to major disruptions in the travel and transportation industries. Most prominent have been in ride sharing – Uber – and in hospitality – Airbnb. Telecommunications, media and music industries have also been turned on their heads; banks and payments are in the firing line; retail generally is being rapidly transformed. There is scarcely an industry whose fundamental structure remains intact. Except the airline industry.
In all cases disrespectful startups, usually applying relatively simple but sophisticated IT solutions, have taken on legacy operations. The legacy industries under attack typically involve extensive capital investment, and are often characterised by significant, unhelpful, and highly intrusive government regulation that restricts competition.
Certainly the legacy airlines have had to deal with a new breed of low cost operations, long and short haul. But almost without exception those legacy operators are still there, fundamentally unchanged.
In terms of other industries, this is no more than fiddling around the margins. And time is running out.