Thai Airways has confirmed its intention to submit a rehabilitation plan, rather than rescue proposal, to the Bankruptcy Court of Thailand. Furthermore, it has publicly denied rumours of its intention to file for bankruptcy. Thai Airways has been losing money for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t helping. Over the last 3 years, they have lost about $778 million.
Thai Airways Boeing 777. Photo by Adam Lanzen | AeroNewsX
Prior to the Thai Airways' statement, Thailand’s Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said the government would be open to having Thai file for bankruptcy, and in doing so, the government would take 51% of its shares. This would be a way for the carrier to possibly build up again, through a cash injection. Additionally, Thai Airways would streamline its fleet, and withdraw less efficient aircraft, such as the A380, or 747 from their fleet.
Thai Airways has since, in a statement, confirmed that the “Board of Directors meeting on 15 May 2020 has discussed about the company rehabilitation and will find a legal counsel to make a request and rehabilitation plan to be submitted to the Bankruptcy Court in Thailand”. Furthermore, the airline will be submitting “some requests” to the United States Bankruptcy Court. However, it will not be filing for bankruptcy
Thai Airways Airbus A350-900. Photo by Duy Khang Tran | AeroNewsX
Thai Airways has been one of the worst hit from the coronavirus crisis, having already been in losses prior to the pandemic which has caused travel demand to plummet. A couple of weeks ago, the Finance Ministry pledged to guarantee a loan of 50 billion baht for the airline. worth just over US$1.5 billion. People familiar with Thai Airways told local media that the loan would likely keep the carrier flying for another 5 months, by which time it would require a government bailout. Former Thai Airways board member Banyong Pongpanich, called for the carrier to enter a rehabilitation process and for the government to clean up some of Thai's finances.
Article by Dillon Shah & Cole McAndrew.