January 20, 2016 / 12:56 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Thai Airways to delay taking delivery of 14 planes to cut costs

* To delay taking delivery of 12 Airbus 350s, 2 Boeing 787s

* Plans to sell 19 offices at home and abroad, 14 planes (Adds comments on asset sale plan)

BANGKOK, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Thai Airways International Pcl plans to postpone taking delivery of 14 planes for three years to reduce operating costs as the national airline restructures, it said on Wednesday.

The 14 planes include 12 Airbus 350s, of which two that were due to be delivered this year, and two Boeing 787s, President Charumporn Jotikasthira told a news conference.

“We will negotiate with aircraft makers to postpone the delivery due from 2016 to 2018,” he said.

Thai Airways is one of several money-losing state-controlled firms ordered to improve efficiency and transparency by the military government which took power in a May 2014 coup, ending months of turmoil and anti-government protests which had sent tourism numbers plummeting.

Charumporn said the airline planned to sell unused properties, including 19 offices in Thailand and overseas, and expected to receive more than 1 billion baht ($27.6 million) from the sales.

Thai Airways also aimed to sell 14 planes in 2016 as part of its plan to reduce its fleet to 95 aircraft, he said.

In 2015, the airline’s cabin factor, or the number of seats sold out of total seats available, was at 73.3 percent, up from 68.9 percent in 2014, Charumporn said.

$1 = 36.2900 baht Reporting by Manunphattr Dhanananphorn; writing by Khettiya Jittapong; editing by David Clarke

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