BANGKOK, April 21 (Reuters) - Thai Airways International Pcl warned on Monday of a steeper-than-expected first-quarter net loss as passenger numbers fell due to prolonged political unrest in Thailand and fierce competition from low-cost carriers.
“First quarter net loss will be higher than what we had expected by 30 million baht,” acting president Chokchai Panyayong told reporters after a board meeting. He did not give an exact figure for the anticipated loss.
Passenger numbers in March alone dropped almost 21 percent from the same month a year ago to 1.59 million, he said.
The number of seats sold in the first quarter also fell to 71.1 percent from 79.8 percent a year earlier, with March seeing a year-on-year drop of 11.6 percentage points to 68.7 percent.
Thai Airways, the country’s national carrier, posted a third successive quarter of losses in the fourth quarter after a falling baht hit revenue and anti-government protests deterred foreign tourists, especially from China, Japan and South Korea.
Reporting by Manunphattr Dhanananphorn; Writing by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Miral Fahmy