Thai Airways International (TG, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi) has added a further eight aircraft - two A380-800s and six B777-200(ER)s - to the list of units earmarked for sale under its proposed restructuring plan.

The Thai carrier previously signalled its intention to sell 22 recently active aircraft, including all ten B747-400s, all six B777-200s, and all six B777-300s. This announcement came on top of earlier, albeit dead-ended, attempts to offload six A340-600s, three A340-500s, two B737-400s, and a single A300-600R.

The newest additions to the list, now numbering 42 aircraft, include:

  • A380-800s HS-TUE (msn 125) and HS-TUF (msn 131), both of which parked at Utapao airport, and
  • B777-200(ER)s HS-TJR (msn 34586), HS-TJS (msn 34587), HS-TJT (msn 34588), HS-TJU (msn 34589), HS-TJV (msn 34590), and HS-TJW (msn 34591), all of which are parked at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi.

FlightRadar24 ADS-B data indicates that all eight aircraft were retired by the end of March 2020, with the exception of B777-200(ER) HS-TJS which was reactivated for a single return flight to Tokyo Narita on December 13-14, 2020.

Thai Airways owns a further four A380-800s, which were been put up for sale, although they also have been inactive since early April 2020.

The carrier has highlighted, however, that the announcements are only part of a market survey to find potential buyers for the listed aircraft in accordance with its reorganisation business plan. The actual sale will only take place once the business reorganization plan is approved and with the approval of all relevant stakeholders as well as the Bankruptcy Court. Thai plans to submit its final proposal to the court before year-end or in early 2021.

As it stands, the aircraft that Thai has so far not earmarked for sale include fifteen A330-300s (all owned by the airline), twelve A350-900s (including eleven dry-leased), four A380-800s (owned), fourteen B777-300(ER)s (eight dry-leased), six B787-8s (all dry-leased), and two B787-9s (both dry-leased).

In other news, Thai has decided to delay the restart of its scheduled domestic operations by a week from December 25 to January 1, 2021, due to an increase in the number of detected COVID-19 cases in the northern part of the country. The airline plans to initially operate from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket, 3x weekly each, using B777-200(ER)s. These flights will be Thai's first publicly available, unrestricted scheduled flights since early April 2020. The airline's regional subsidiary, Thai Smile (WE, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi), already operates a sizeable domestic network as it seeks to capitalise on increased domestic tourism in the absence of foreign travellers.

Thailand, which remains closed to nearly all foreign tourists, has been credited with an extremely effective COVID response, resulting in just over 4,200 cases to date. The recent spike, while significant by Thai standards, translates to less than 30 new cases per day.