Star Alliance member Thai Airways has returned to profitability in the first quarter of 2023 following years of pandemic related financial hemorrhaging and a court-supervised rehabilitation.

The Bangkok-based airline said that in the first three months of 2023, the number of foreign tourists traveling to Thailand totaled 6.5 million, an increase of 1,202 per cent compared to the same period last year and reflecting some 60 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Of these, tourists from within the Asia-Pacific region accounted for more than 62 per cent, led by ASEAN countries at 30.8 per cent. The ‘Top 5’ international inbound markets were Malaysia, Russia, China, South Korea and India.

Thai Airways says it continues rebuilding its fleet and to that effect it leased in two additional Airbus A350-900 aircraft in the first three months of 2023.

These A350 aircraft are primarily operating flights from Bangkok to Melbourne, Kunming, Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Thai Airways notes that demand from China continues to grow rapidly.

In the first quarter, the airline returned another Boeing 777-200ER to service from storage to supplement its Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Kolkata, New Delhi, Chennai, Dhaka and Islamabad schedules.

Thai Airways had 65 active aircraft in its fleet at the end of the first quarter.

On its flights to Europe the airline deploys its A350-900 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, both with 1-2-1 seating in its Royal Silk business class.

The Star Alliance founding member has resumed double daily flights from its Suvarnabhumi base to London’s Heathrow Airport. One of these rotations is operated by Thai Airways’ newest 777-300ER aircraft, delivered in 2022, and the only in the fleet to still feature its Royal First experience.