Thai Airways International Public Company Limited is the national carrier of the Kingdom of Thailand. It operates domestic, regional and intercontinental flights radiating from its home base in Bangkok to key destinations around the world and within Thailand. The company's fully
paid up share capital amounts to 16,988,765,500 Baht (9 May 2005) and is 53.77% owned by the Ministry of Finance, the Thai Government. At the end of September 2004, consolidated total assets of the company amounted to 193,211 million Baht. In its operations, THAI has achieved profitability every year for the last 40 consecutive years.
Thai Airways International was founded in 1960 as a joint venture between Thailand's domestic carrier, Thai Airways Company (TAC) and Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) with the Scandinavian carrier initially providing a 30% share capital of two million Baht. SAS also provided operations, managerial and marketing expertise, with training assistance aiming at building a fully independent national airline within the shortest possible time. Thai nationals, through training and experience, were gradually able to assume full managerial responsibility and the number of expatriate staff duly reduced until, in 1987, expatriates accounted for less than one percent of staff based in Thailand.
On April 1, 1977, after a 17 - year capital participation partnership with SAS, the Thai Government bought out SAS remaining 15 % holding and THAI became fully owned by the Thai people.
In 1960, flights were inaugurated from Bangkok to 9 overseas destinations all within the Asian region. Intercontinental services were launched in 1971, to Australia, followed by flights to Europe in 1972, and to North America in 1980.Thai Airways International growth was greatly accelerated on April 1, 1988 as a result of its merger with Thai Airways Company (TAC), the domestic airline, which raised the Company's share capital from 1,400 million to 2,230 million Baht . Under the Cabinet policy, as authorised by General Prem Tinsulanonda, Prime Minister at the time, Thai Airways International would be responsible for commercial aviation, both international and domestic. Thai Airways International can now rightfully be called Thailand's only national carrier. On June 25, 1991, Thailand Cabinet approved a resolution enabling THAI to list its shares on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). The resolution authorized THAI to convert Baht 10.77 billion of retained earnings into capital, and increase its capital by an additional Baht 3 billion with a first issue of 100 million shares. Of those 100 million shares, five million shares were reserved for THAI employees at par Baht 10 and 95 million shares were to be offered to the public.
The listing of THAI shares was commenced on July 19, 1991. By converting retained earnings into capital and increased its share capital upon the Cabinet approval, THAI registered share capital has risen from Baht 2,230 million to a total of Baht 14,000 million. This has made the total amount of THAI share listing to be the largest in the history of SET. Moreover, THAI public offering of shares is the single largest one ever undertaken in Thailand.
The main purposes in listing on the SET and offering shares to the public are to obtain the additional funds needed in keeping the airline competitive edge in the international market and to allow member of the general public and THAI employees to become shareholders in this national flag carrier of Thailand.On November 20-21, 2003. THAI offered for sale the Company's 442.75 million ordinary shares, comprising 285 million capital increase ordinary shares and 157.75 million existing ordinary shares held by the Ministry of Finance upon the Cabinet approval.Proceeds generated by the sales will be used as investment in the Suvarnabhumi Airport project, and for upgrading inflight services ranging from passenger seats to other amenities. Since September 2004, the company has sold THAI shares to its employee through the Employee Securities Option Plan (ESOP) in a total of 13,896,150 shares at 15 Baht per share. The company will continue to sell its shares to those employee who are holding the warrants until the end of the plan in April 2007.
Thai Airways International PCL?s rise from regional airline to a world-recognized company with global links is a tribute to the far-sighted vision of our founders. It is a fascinating saga of local initiative and strategic partnerships that enabled us to grow quickly, yet comprehensively in an ascent best compared to the flight path our aircraft on take-off.