In a bid to reduce operating costs and return to profitability, Thai Airways International, the largest carrier in the South East Asian country, plans to shed 1,401 jobs and suspend routes to Rome and Los Angeles. This will end U.S operations for the Thai national carrier, with a previous route to New York-JFK ending in 2008.
An article published by Reuters details some of the future plans for the carrier, including cutting seat capacity by 15% in the second half of 2015. Full details of the restructuring program are still to come, but it is believed to include aircraft sales along with staff reductions with an aim to reduce operating costs by 9 billion Baht (~$354 million AUD) this year.
October 25th will be the final day for flights to Rome and Los Angeles. Also in the firing line are some of the frequencies to unprofitable routes such as Kolkata and the transition of flights to Hyderabad, Changsha and Luang Prabang to their low-cost operation, Thai Smile.
However, Thai have announced an increase in frequency to their popular London-Heathrow and Frankfurt flights to twice daily. This appears to take effect on Oct 25th in parallel with the suspension of Rome and Los Angeles.
Thai have yet to mention any changes to their Australian services to 4 of our major cities, but given that they apparently still have 50 unprofitable routes, it’s possible that we may see some changes in the future. In the meantime if you have any flights booked to either Rome or Los Angeles after Oct 25th this year, make sure you check your reservations.