Thailand counts for bankruptcy national airline

Covid-19 was a 'glass of water' that made Thai Airways difficult to sink deeply, leading to the possibility of bankruptcy of this airline.

Thai Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said Thai Airways International (THAI) filing for bankruptcy would be an option to rebuild the country's flag carrier.

The reinstatement plan for Thai Airways may be approved by the Thai Business Policy Committee and the cabinet, or through a Bankruptcy Court ruling if the bankruptcy option is chosen.

"The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport oversee Thai Airways because it is a state-owned enterprise. The two ministries have discussed the formulation of a recovery plan, but the final decision rests with the cabinet, which will be the way to go. The best case for this company and all stakeholders, "said Mr. Uttama, not knowing when the decision will be made.

A Thai Airways plane is taking off. Photo: The Thaiger

When asked whether THAI was still able to pay his employees, Mr. Uttama said the negotiations with creditors had been successful, keeping liquidity to some extent. "All parties are trying their best to solve the problem. Time is running out, Thai Airways must change. All parties must cooperate seriously," he said.

According to the Thai Stock Exchange, THAI posted a net loss of 2.11 billion baht (nearly 66 million USD) in 2017, soaring to 11.6 billion (361 million USD) in 2018 and 12 billion baht. (374 million USD) last year. "There must be a major overhaul," Mr. Uttama emphasized.

Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha agreed with Thai Airways' bankruptcy direction to rebuild the national airline. "THAI has made some internal business recovery plans but failed," Anutin said.

If THAI agrees, the Bankruptcy Court will oversee the process and appoint a responsible person to do so with the consent of the firm and its creditors. THAI shareholders must also decide on the proposed restoration plan.

"In terms of policy, we will come to a conclusion soon. The Prime Minister said that the airline needs recovery. We are also in the situation of Covid-19. I think that is the only way. Everyone must take a step back so you can move forward, "said Anutin Charnvirakul. At the same time, he said the plan is expected to be reviewed by the State Enterprise Policy Office next Monday (May 18).

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