The Transport Ministry has assigned Thai Airways International to buy 37 new aircraft on hire purchase instead of leasing them.The move came after the ministry told THAI to thoroughly compare the information and figures between hire purchase of the 37 new aircraft and leasing them.
Supot Saplorm, the transport permanent secretary, said THAI earlier proposed a plan to lease 37 new aircraft. The lease project would have cost the national airline carrier about 216 billion baht.
However, the Transport Ministry wanted THAI to hire purchase them instead, as it would be worth the investment in the longer term.
THAI was told to exercise its option and compile more information on the hire purchase option.
The feasibility study showed the cost of hire purchasing 37 new aircraft was about 140 billion baht, which is more cost-effective than leasing them, Mr Supot said.
The ministry had instructed THAI to map out a new strategy to turn Thailand into a regional aviation hub.
To achieve that goal, THAI would have to work in partnership with other relevant agencies, such as the Tourism Authority of Thailand, he said.