BANGKOK May 15 Thai Airways International
posted a fourth successive losss in the first quarter,
hit by weakness in tourism caused by prolonged political unrest
in Thailand plus fierce competition from low-cost and regional
The national carrier reported a net loss of 2.63 billion
baht ($81.09 million), which was lower than the average loss of
2.78 billion forecast by six analysts polled by Reuters.
It compares with a loss of 5.65 billion baht in the previous
quarter and a profit of 8.28 billion in the first quarter last
Asia Aviation Pcl, major shareholder of budget
carrier Thai AirAsia, posted a 65 percent drop in net profit in
the first quarter, while Nok Airlines Pcl reported a 90
percent decline in net earnings for the period.
On Wednesday, the Tourism Authority of Thailand cut its
forecast for 2014 foreign tourist arrivals to 26.3 million, the
lowest in five years, from a previous estimate of 28 million
because of the unrest.
Shares in Thai Airways, valued at $877 million on the
bourse, have tumbled two-thirds in the past 12 months,
underperforming a 15 percent drop in the main Thai index
($1 = 32.4350 Thai Baht)
(Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Alan Raybould)