THAI on the verge of B54bn in loans

THAI on the verge of B54bn in loans

Source outlines plan to boost ailing carrier

A fleet of Thai Airways International aircraft are parked at Suvarnabhumi airport. Somchai Poomlard
A fleet of Thai Airways International aircraft are parked at Suvarnabhumi airport. Somchai Poomlard

The Public Debt Management Office (PDMO) is poised to secure 54 billion baht worth of bridge loans to boost liquidity for beleaguered Thai Airways International Plc (THAI) to enable the national carrier to undertake a business rehabilitation plan.

The bridge loans guaranteed by the Finance Ministry will be borrowed in phases to match THAI's cash flow, an informed source at the Finance Ministry said, adding that the loans will mature for up to one year.

The 54 billion baht in short-term loans will be used as working capital to finance business operation expenses, probably including an early retirement scheme, the source said.

In exchange for the bridge loans that are crucial for the company to avoid running out of money, THAI is required to undertake a business rehabilitation plan, which includes cost management, the source said.

Downsizing THAI's employee headcount by 30-40% is an integral part of the rescue plan because the national carrier is overstaffed, the source said.

THAI, in which the Finance Ministry holds a 51% stake, suffered huge financial losses for several years before the coronavirus outbreak. According to Stock Exchange of Thailand data, the national carrier posted a net loss of 2.11 billion baht in 2017, widening to 11.6 billion baht in 2018 and 12 billion baht last year.

Recapitalisation is also included in the airline's business rehabilitation plan, as its capital is now in negative territory, the source said, adding that the company is required to lower paid-up capital ahead of the capital increase to let existing shareholders take responsibility for writing off accumulated losses.

The State Enterprise Policy Committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha recently approved in principle the airline's business rehabilitation plan, which will seek cabinet approval later.

Gen Prayut said on May 5 that THAI's rescue plan had yet to go before the cabinet.

He warned that there would be no second chances for the flag carrier, as the government has given it a chance but it has never succeeded, so all staff should coordinate in cutting expenses to comply with the business rehabilitation plan.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (90)

US deaths top 100,000 as countries reimpose distancing measures

WASHINGTON - The US coronavirus death toll passed 100,000, as some countries reimposed social distancing rules following a resurgence of cases that raised the spectre of a dreaded second wave of infections.

28 May 2020

Trump to target social media with executive order

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump was set Thursday to target social media giants like Twitter, which he accuses of bias against him, with an executive order opening them to new regulation.

28 May 2020

Virus unleashing new wave of US layoffs

WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits held above 2 million last week for a 10th straight week amid job cuts by US state and local governments whose budgets have been decimated fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and more second-wave layoffs in the private sector.

28 May 2020