Update

For latest development, please see this post below:

Thai Airways has issued a statement contradicting reports of bankruptcy that have appeared in news outlets worldwide.

“Thai’s reform plan has been approved by [Thai’s] board of directors on 17 April 2020 and presented to the State Enterprise Policy Office for consideration on 29 April 2020. The plan will soon be presented to the cabinet for further action. The board of directors had no resolution of filing for bankruptcy as appeared in the news.”

Thai Airways statement

From earlier news, the Thai Government has confirmed that its national airline, Thai Airways, will begin restructuring proceedings in a bankruptcy court.

A senior government spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters that the airline will be filing for the Thai equivalent of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

“The State-Enterprise Planning Office agreed in principle for the rehabilitation of Thai Airways in court… the procedure will be submitted to cabinet tomorrow,”

Narumon Pinyosinwat, Thai Government spokeswoman, via Reuters

It is understood that the Thai Government will now extend 58.1 billion baht ($1.4 billion) in lifelines to the struggling airline.

No plans for rehabilitation have been detailed, although it is understood that Thai Airways currently has over 92 billion baht ($2.87 billion) in debt. A restructure will likely see the airline’s long-haul fleet cut down significantly.

Thai Airways is the flag carrier of Thailand, the vast majority of the airline is owned by the Thai Finance Ministry.

Thai Airways, like every airlines in the world, has suffered because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the virtual halt to air traffic. Thailand has been in a State of Emergency since mid-April, as most international flights are forbidden from landing in Thailand. Thai Airways has posted consistent annual losses since 2013.

This is a developing story, more information to come.

Bottom Line

Thai Airways have been one of Sam Chui’s long time favourite airlines, so he sincerely hopes it will emerges from bankruptcy protection as a stronger and more efficient airline.

Thai was at one point the biggest Asian airlines to serve Europe but their market share were declined sharply due to competition from Gulf carriers and low cost carriers.

What changes do you think we’ll see at Thai Airways?

Article Sources: Reuters and Airlive

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