Thai Airways, the Thai flag carrier, will join forces with state-owned oil company PTT to develop its cargo services division. They will seek to become leaders in the region.

The two companies will conduct a year-long feasibility study to determine whether integration is possible. Suvadhana Sibunruang, THAI’s acting CEO, said, «A team has been formed to examine the joint business potential of the companies».

The airline has extensive experience in providing cargo services for the industrial and agricultural sectors. It has also -especially in recent years- accumulated experience in the transport of vaccines and medicines in general. Due to the pandemic-enforced restrictions, it had to operate cargo flights using its passenger aircraft.

Thai has a fleet of 43 wide-body aircraft: twelve A350-900s, twenty-three 777s (-200 and -300), and eight 787s (-8 and -9).

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As reported by the Bangkok Post, Suvadhana and Auttapol Rerkpiboon -CEO and president of PTT- signed a memorandum of understanding last Friday (May 13). This marks the beginning of an exchange between the companies, which will seek to generate synergy between their divisions.

According to Suvadhana, in April of this year, the number of cargo flights operated by the airline increased by 120%. While in March it operated 39 flights, in April this number rose to 87. Of these, 78 were to China and the rest to India.

Auttapol, meanwhile, indicated that PTT’s expertise in terrestrial cargo handling and warehouse logistics can be valuable to Thai Airways’ business. «We will look to integrate all types of transportation. We want to make Thailand the logistics hub of Southeast Asia,» he said.

The oil company has been awarded the third phase of development of the deepwater ports of Laem Chabang in Chon Buri and Map Ta Phut in Rayong. According to the executive, these projects could benefit from the eventual cooperation with THAI.

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