Thai Airways creditors delay vote on debt restructuring plan

Thai Airways creditors delay vote on debt restructuring plan

A Thai Airways aircraft is seen taking off past the tails of two other Thai Airways planes at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi international aiport on Nov 24, 2014. (AFP file photo)
A Thai Airways aircraft is seen taking off past the tails of two other Thai Airways planes at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi international aiport on Nov 24, 2014. (AFP file photo)

Thai Airways International Plc delayed a vote on its restructuring plan by a week after some creditors pushed for changes and sought time to study some last-minute tweaks unveiled by the administrator.

The creditors will now meet again on May 19 after 20 of them proposed postponing the vote, Thai Airways said in a statement. At Wednesday’s meeting held by video conference, some debtholders sought more clarity about details of the restructuring plan which included some changes, the carrier said.

The carrier’s stock swung between gains and losses before trading 3.7% higher at 4.30pm in Bangkok. The stock has tumbled 45% since the exchange lifted a trading suspension on April 16.

The national flag carrier needs more than 50% of creditors to accept its plan, which is part of measures to help it return to profitability as it navigates the devastation wreaked on the global travel industry by the pandemic. The airline, which has total liabilities of at least $11 billion, in March proposed a three-year freeze on loan repayments in one of the nation’s most high-profile restructurings.

Thai Airways is seeking a deferment of bond repayments for six years and a waiver of unpaid interest on loans as part of the plan, involving about 170 billion baht of debt. It’s also looking to raise 50 billion baht in new capital, plans to slash its workforce in half and sell property to help return to profitability.

Thailand is facing renewed woes more than a year into the pandemic as a new wave of infections brings more turmoil to its crucial travel sector. Thai Airways, which saw a record loss of 141 billion baht last year, joins other global peers in trying to get debt relief as mass flight suspensions cause carriers to seek financial help from governments and investors.

A senior lawyer at Kudun & Partners Ltd, which is representing bondholders, said in March that their initial response to the proposed restructuring was favourable. 

Thailand is facing renewed woes more than a year into the pandemic as a new wave of infections brings more turmoil to its crucial travel sector. Thai Airways, which saw a record loss of 141 billion baht last year, joins other global peers in trying to get debt relief as mass flight suspensions cause carriers to seek financial help from governments and investors.

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