This year has seen a lot of new things in the airline industry. One of the more unusual innovations is the public auctioning of aircraft. Not just small single-engine two-person Cessnas, but big jets that take up a lot of garage space. Iran Air made headlines earlier this year when it started auctioning off many of its aircraft, including its classic Boeing 747s. Then embattled THAI Airways jumped on the bandwagon. Now THAI is upping the ante and looking at auctioning a whole range of aircraft consumables to raise badly needed cash.
THAI Airways is in a world of financial pain. The airline has defaulted on over US$2.8 billion worth of loans and bonds and lost $926 million in the first six months of 2020. Yesterday, THAIannounced its third-quarter results and another loss. The airline said domestic travel was showing some signs of recovery, but international travel was almost zero.
However, THAI’s financial problems pre-date 2020. The travel downturn is simply the catalyst that has pushed the airline to its present tipping point. Yesterday, THAI said they were placing more emphasis on earning revenue from non-passenger sources.
Which might help explain the auction of their planes and various bits and pieces.
Earlier this month, Simple Flying reported THAI Airways was auctioning off 32 of their widebody planes,including all of their Boeing 747s. The THAI 747s were a familiar sight at many airports. Regular passengers know the planes to be showing a few signs of superficial wear and tear, but super comfortable to fly in.
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But unlike Iran Air, THAI is also giving you the chance to accessorize your newly purchased plane. The airline is looking at selling a range of aircraft consumables designed to make flying an altogether more pleasant experience.
According to a report in Thai PBS World, THAI Airways is going through its warehouses to see what else they can flog off. In THAI’s sights are everything from salt and pepper shakers and wine glasses to seat covers and aircraft tires.
Should you be interested, THAI also wants to swap its stash of booze for cash. It could be a great opportunity to pick up some bargain Dom Perignon from the first class supplies or Veuve Cliquot from their business class hoard.
THAI’s excellent taste in champagne is a good indicator of why this airline was always such as pleasure to fly on and why it’s so sad to see THAI in its current state.
Also becoming available are various office spaces, including the head office building.
The airline is in the middle of a restructuring program under the supervision of Thailand’s Central Bankruptcy Court. The process is similar to Chapter 11.
Meanwhile, should you wish to pick up an ex-THAI widebody plane, you’d better shake out your wallet and get in quick. We could provide a link, but we don’t want to encourage reckless aircraft impulse buys that might upset your partner. However, if you must, the auction closes today, November 13. The auctioneers would also like to remind you that they offer no offer sales warranty. So best buy a few extra tires just in case. And champagne.