Thai Airways Delays Airbus Payment For 3 Months

January 6, 2009

Thai Airways said on Tuesday it had agreed with Airbus to postpone the first payment for six A330 aircraft to be delivered in 2009 after being hit by the global crisis and Thai airport closures.

The first payment will be postponed to April from January and subsequent payments will also be delayed for three months, acting President Narongsak Sangapong said.

"We sent a letter to Airbus requesting a payment delay of three months and they replied that they agreed to our request," Narongsak said.

Thai Airways has suffered from a week-long shutdown of Bangkok's two main airports by political protests towards the end of 2008 plus a fall in passengers due to the global economic crisis, he said.

The national carrier has ordered eight A330 aircraft and six of them will be delivered this year, with the first due in April, he said, adding that the delivery of six A380 superjumbos was still on track for December 2010.

Thai Airways planned to revise a decommissioning plan, which would be discussed at a board meeting next week, Narongsak said.

The airline has said it aimed to lease or buy 34 planes as part of a 10 year plan to renew its fleet.

The airline, which is considering ways to cut costs and boost revenue, said last month the global crisis and the airport shutdown would pull 2008 revenue growth below 10 percent and the impact would continue to be felt in 2009.


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