LONDON – Thai Airways, a cash-stricken airline, is joining PTT, a Thai Energy giant to explore the possibilities of the air cargo business.
Thailand’s national airline is signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the 13th of May for the possibility of venturing into the cargo business with PTT in a bid to lift Thailand’s domestic economy and the airline’s financial performance.
Importantly, the MOU will also (hopefully) transform Thailand into a regional air cargo hub.
On the MOU, the two heavyweights (Thai Airways and PTT) plan to conduct a year-long feasibility study on the integration of their business expertise and the possibility of creating a new spin-off business.
Moreover, the MoU is to conduct a feasibility study on partnership opportunities for freighters, cargo warehouses, commercial platforms, and other related businesses.
THAI along with PTT would partner to support business opportunities, distribution channel expansion, and favorable business relations for future growth and development. This MoU is not only significant to the two companies but to Thailand as a whole.
Suvadhana Sibunruang, acting chief executive of THAI stated that: “A study team has already been formed to look into the business potential of the two companies and a way to synergize it.”
Mr. Sibunruang further noted that the air cargo sector has expanded exponentially during the pandemic with high growth potential.
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, THAI has mainly operated its cargo and chartered flights to deliver domestic and international agricultural and manufacturing goods, frozen food, electronic devices, and car parts, which these items make up a high percentage of Thailand’s export.
This has led to the airline rethinking its model, putting importance on its cargo business unit.
From PTT’s side, the company aims to position Thailand as a modern country, equipped with world-class infrastructure ranging from land, water, and air freight delivery, as well as cargo management and digital platform development.
The partnership will further accelerate the country’s development. This is due to the expertise of both Thai Airways and PTT and its positive synergy will allow Thailand’s logistic scene to establish a Southeast Asia cargo hub in Bangkok, which would significantly uplift the Thai economy and living standards of her citizens.
Mr. Auttapol Rerkpiboon, PTT President and Chief Executive Officer, and Mr. Suvadhana Sibunruang, Acting THAI Chief Executive Officer, who signed the MoU at THAI’s Head Quarters in Bangkok.
Those who were present at the MoU signing ceremony include: Mr. Chansak Chuenchom, Senior Executive Vice President, Engineering and Infrastructure, and Mrs. Varangkana Luerojvong, THAI Chief, Aviation Business Unit, were present to witness the signing.
Also present at the ceremony as guests of honor were Mr. Piyasvasti Amranand, THAI Chairman of the Plan Administrators, Mr. Siri Jirapongphan, THAI Plan Administrator, and Mr. Chansin Treenuchagron, THAI Plan Administrator.
It is still unknown whether Thai will revive the only operations of its all-cargo fleet, as they did in the past, using P2Fs 747-400s.