As per Bloomberg report, Thai Airways has grounded its entire fleet of Airbus A340s, some of which are barely a few years old for cost efficiency purposes. The airline says that it’s unable to make any flights on these quad engine aircrafts profitable even after the substantial oil price drop.
In this age of twin engines aircrafts performing as good as the yesteryear 4 engine beauties, the need for such aircrafts has been almost wiped out. No airline has any pressing need to fly these birds anymore unless they are flying to hot and high destinations such as Johannesburg or Mexico to name a few. Thai has tried to sell these aircrafts for a while now but without any success and as has been the case with other owners; it most probably may end up exchanging them with Airbus in lieu of any new models that it may intend to buy. The airline is still running its Boeing 747s also which have a similar issue in terms of operating expenses and have been a big drain on the airline.
The airline has reeled under high costs and network and labor inefficiencies which has left it saddled with high costs and coupled with the eroding market share due to Low Cost carriers in the South East Asian region, it is facing some tough headwinds to succeed. What remains to be seen is given the current situation, what plans the airline will bring in to return back to profitability. Will it cut down on its loss making routes and what will it do of its older aircrafts and the new A380s that its been unable to fill. The airline needs to act soon else it may very well turn out to be too little too late.