Thai budget carriers' losses mount, shares tumble
FILE PHOTO: A Nok Air aircraft, painted like a duck, prepares to take off at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, June 29, 2016. Picture taken June 29, 2016. PREUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom/File Photo
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's low-cost carriers saw share prices falling nearly 7 percent in morning trade in Bangkok on Friday after they reported losses due to tough competition and higher fuel costs.
Asia Aviation Pcl
Losses at rival Nok Air Pcl
Despite Thailand's tourism boom, its airlines have struggled due to higher jet fuel prices, a drop in passengers from off-peak travelling and stiff competition.
The country expects tourist arrivals to reach 37.5 million this year, up 6 percent from 2017.
Nok Air, the budget arm national carrier Thai Airways International Pcl
Thai AirAsia is planning to add more routes between India and Southeast Asia in the next quarter to minimise the risk of depending on a major customer base in the region, the airline said.
"Higher fuel costs have been a challenge with fuel being a major operating cost for any airlines," Thai AirAsia Chief Executive Santisuk Klongchaiya said in a statement.
Analysts say tourist seasonality next quarter should help recovery and that plans to introduce a fuel surcharge could partly offset higher jet fuel prices.
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