AAT urges state to speed up soft loans

AAT urges state to speed up soft loans

Aircraft of Thai AirAsia are seen parked at Don Mueang International Airport. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Aircraft of Thai AirAsia are seen parked at Don Mueang International Airport. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

As soft loans for airlines go through the approval process under the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation (TCG), the Airlines Association of Thailand (AAT) is urging the government to help clear the loan conditions as soon as possible.

The emergency situation, which has frozen domestic air travel from July to August, has created a tremendous impact on over 20,000 airline employees.

While news reports have suggested that some airlines started to receive financial aid recently, the AAT wishes to clarify that they still haven't received soft loans as requested, Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, president of the AAT, said in a statement.

He said airlines have adjusted their business plans and are working closely with related agencies including the Export-Import Bank of Thailand (Exim Bank) which offers support in relation to debt repayment and loans to maintain operations.

However, the soft loan proposal which was submitted to the government is key to help saving jobs amid the prolonged and unpredictable pandemic.

"The AAT insists that there is no further approval on soft loans from the government up to now," Mr Puttipong said.

Soft loans for seven airlines already received approval from the Social Security Office under the supervision of the Labour Ministry, however, the process has been stuck with the TCG as some loan conditions need to be changed to suit the airlines.

The association would like the government to step in and help clear the obstacles related to soft loan conditions.

On July 21, AAT members Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, Thai Smile Airways, Nok Air, Thai Lion Air and Thai Vietjet made a statement asking the government about the development of soft loans scheme which has been reduced to 5 billion baht from the previous 24 billion.

Local airlines have suspended all flights and operations due to the current travel restrictions, while some of them have had to defer monthly salaries.

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