Last chance for Thai Airways, says PM

Last chance for Thai Airways, says PM

Thai Airways planes are seen at Suvarnabhumi Airport during the coronavirus disease outbreak in Bangkok, April 30, 2020. (Reuters file photo)
Thai Airways planes are seen at Suvarnabhumi Airport during the coronavirus disease outbreak in Bangkok, April 30, 2020. (Reuters file photo)

The government is ready to back a rescue package for Thai Airways International Plc, but it will entail a full restructuring and there will be no second chances, the prime minister said.

Seeking union support for the plan, drafted amid a global travel slump caused by the coronavirus outbreak, Prayut Chan-o-cha said adjusting the airline's organisational structure and headcount would be challenging.

"This is an enterprise that we have to rehabilitate and this is the last chance we have to manage the issue so it does not get worse," he told a news briefing.

The package, details of which have not been confirmed, has not yet been submitted to cabinet, he said.

The majority state-owned airline is seeking a loan of 58.1 billion baht guaranteed by the Ministry of Finance to stop it from running out of money, according to a draft of the plan seen by Reuters last week.

In exchange, the carrier would agree to cut its fleet size and lay off staff, the documents showed.

The flagship carrier, in which the ministry holds a 51% stake, was in financial difficulties before the coronavirus outbreak, having reported losses since 2017.

In March it suspended flights as travel demand slumped, and its president resigned after less than two years in the job.

The Thai Airways Union said it would cooperate with a "clear plan" that succeeded in rehabilitating the carrier. But it was concerned about the risk of interference from outside interests.

Because the airline is a state enterprise, major investment decisions such as aircraft procurement require approval from multiple government agencies, potentially exposing it to influence from third parties.

"The union ... will be against any policy with a hidden agenda that damages the airline and benefits certain groups," its President, Nares Peung-yaem, told Reuters.

Do you like the content of this article?

Coming home

American basketball star Brittney Griner released in a prisoner swap with Russia for notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and later jailed in the US.

8 Dec 2022

Koreans about to become one year younger

SEOUL: South Korean lawmakers have approved a measure that would revise the way the country tallies a person’s age, ending a system that counted newborns as a year old and meaning that most of its citizens are about to get younger.

8 Dec 2022

Bangchak to make jet fuel from used cooking oil

The SET-listed energy conglomerate Bangchak Corporation plans to make biofuel for aircraft, also known as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), from used cooking oil through a joint venture with a 200-million-baht budget, in a move to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

8 Dec 2022