AoT forced to borrow for first time

AoT forced to borrow for first time

ALMOST EMPTY: Operating Suvarnabhumi Airport is eating into the revenue of Airport of Thailand Plc, forcing the company to seek its first-ever loan. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
ALMOST EMPTY: Operating Suvarnabhumi Airport is eating into the revenue of Airport of Thailand Plc, forcing the company to seek its first-ever loan. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Airports of Thailand Plc is taking out a 25-billion-baht loan, the first time it has borrowed money since it was created more than four decades ago.

AoT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said on Monday the loan was needed because of losses accrued during the pandemic, and it highlighted the severe impact Covid-19 was having on AoT and the aviation industry as a whole.

Mr Nitinai said the AoT was likely to suffer a cashflow problem due to the drastic fall-off in foreign tourism. The worst of it would not be felt until the next fiscal year, beginning in October. 

The AoT also faces limited cashflow after investing in the Phase 2 expansion of Suvarnabhumi Airport, he said. 

The AoT board has approved the loan but will be scrutinising the state of the industry as well as comparing interest rates, terms and conditions closer to the borrowing date. 

The AoT oversees six major airports nationwide, all of which rely on international flights:  Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Mae Fah Luang in Chiang Rai, Phuket and Hat Yai in Songkhla.

As of April 20, the six airports were reporting combined average passenger volume of only  38,000 a day, which is expected to dwindle to 15,000-20,000 passengers a day next month as a result of the third-wave Covid-19 outbreak.  

Mr Nitinai said some AoT staff in frequent contact with customers had caught the virus, so stringent health screening measures for both staff and customers would be adopted across all airports.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (6)

+9,122 Covid cases

The number of new patients is down again, but the daily coronavirus-related death toll is up from the previous 63 to 71.

13:25

Fund fraud

The president of the Chanthaburi PAO, a temple abbot and two others arrested for the alleged theft of 17 million baht earmarked for the Chanthaburi Buddha Monthon Foundation.

12:20

Relatives crowd prison after Myanmar junta protester amnesty

YANGON: Family members of Myanmar's pro-democracy prisoners crowded outside a jail Tuesday, hoping their relatives would be among thousands the junta has promised to release as it faces growing international pressure.

11:45