NokScoot goes out of business

NokScoot goes out of business

Regional budget carrier says it can't recover from pandemic impact

NokScoot cabin attendants pose in front of a Boeing 777-200 at Don Mueang airport on Feb 1, 2017. (NokScoot photo)
NokScoot cabin attendants pose in front of a Boeing 777-200 at Don Mueang airport on Feb 1, 2017. (NokScoot photo)

The regional budget airline NokScoot is shutting down, saying it cannot recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The carrier said its board of directors decided on Friday to liquidate the airline, with the decision to be announced in a general meeting of shareholders to be held in two weeks.

The decision will leave 450 staff members unemployed, save for some who will work on the liquidation process. The company promised to pay them full benefits in accordance with Thai law.

NokScoot was established in 2014 as a joint venture between Singapore-based Scoot and SET-listed Nok Airlines Plc. Nok, a domestic budget carrier established in 2004, holds 51% of the shares and Scoot, a Singapore Airlines subsidiary, holds the remaining 49%. Thai Airways International, now under bankruptcy protection, holds a 13.28% shareholding in Nok Airlines.

NokScoot operated medium- and long-haul Asian routes serving seven cities in China and three in Japan, as well as New Delhi, Singapore and Taipei, from its base at Don Mueang airport in Bangkok. Even before the coronavirus outbreak began, it was struggling in the market due to intense competitive from other low-cost carriers.

“Unprecedented challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic have further exacerbated the situation,” the board said in its statement on Friday.

There had been speculation that the company would exit the business after it announced employee layoffs.

NokScoot will return three aircraft from the five-jet fleet to the parent company in Singapore by the end of this month.


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