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Business Spotlight

Thai Airways: pandemic delivers final blow to mismanaged carrier

Stripped of state protection, national icon faces drastic recovery overhaul

MASAYUKI YUDA, Nikkei staff writer | Thailand

BANGKOK -- These days, Bangkok's normally bustling main international airport feels like a museum dedicated to displaying Boeing and Airbus jets owned by Thai Airways International, with the national flag carrier's fleet largely grounded as the novel coronavirus pandemic paralyzes global air travel.

The mixed collection of Boeing 747-400s, Airbus A330s, Boeing 787-9s and Airbus A380s sitting silently on the tarmac or inside hangars at Suvarnabhumi Airport might appeal to aviation enthusiasts and photographers looking for a rare and dramatic shot. But the inertness of the fleet highlights not just the impact of COVID-19 but the airline's decades of financial inefficiency.

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