Court approves Thai Airways restructuring plan

A Thai court of justice on Monday approved the restructuring plan presented by the national airline Thai Airways, which filed for bankruptcy in May following the suspension of routes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The judges of the Central Bankruptcy Court in Bangkok also appointed the auditor Ernst & Young and six other current directors of the airline to oversee the restructuring plan.

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Thai Airways suffered a net loss of 28 billion baht (‘763 million or $902 million) in the first half of this year as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Thai flag carrier, which cancelled all its regular flights on April 1st, has seen its revenue fall by 56.9% in the first half of the year to 40,000 million baht (1,080 million euros or 1,280 million dollars), bringing its debts to 332,000 million baht (9,000 million euros or 10,600 million dollars).

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Some 6,000 employees, or 30% of the airline’s 20,000 workers, have been laid off as a result of the suspension of operations, while the rest have seen their salaries reduced.

The economic crisis in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased pressure on the finances of Thai Airways, which has been accumulating losses for years and whose shares are mostly controlled by the Thai Ministry of Finance.

The Thai government is finalizing a plan, which could be approved in October, to grant the airlines soft loans worth 24 billion baht (646 million euros or 770 million dollars), which will be accompanied by an extension of the period of tax reduction on fuel and the exemption or reduction of operational fees such as landing charges.

By EFE – La Vanguardia

Photo: Aero Icarus/Wikimedia