Thai AirAsia X bankruptcy filing accepted by court

Thai AirAsia X bankruptcy filing accepted by court

All pre-booked seats will be honoured

A file photo shows a Thai AirAsia X A330-300 jet taking off from Don Mueang airport.
A file photo shows a Thai AirAsia X A330-300 jet taking off from Don Mueang airport.

After more than two years without passenger flights, Thai AirAsia X (TAAX) filed for bankruptcy protection, with the case accepted by a Thai bankruptcy court on Wednesday.

The airline insisted all seats that were pre-booked will be honoured, including international routes to Japan and South Korea starting from June.

TAAX, the long-haul low-cost carrier under the AirAsia group, became the third airline in Thailand to file for bankruptcy, following Thai Airways and Nok Air, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It was hard to raise funds as the airline shouldered a large amount of debt. A rehabilitation plan approved by the court in the next stage will be a viable solution to maintain business in the long run," said Tassapon Bijleveld, director of TAAX.

He said the airline had been considering this option for a long time, but as the long-haul carrier has grounded its entire fleet for more than two years without any international flights, it was impractical to start the rehabilitation process properly.

However, after many countries lifted border controls and loosened travel restrictions, TAAX can implement the business plan, particularly flight expansion.

Mr Tassapon, who is also the biggest shareholder of TAAX, said prior to the pandemic the airline had 12 wide-body aircraft, but because it couldn't operate flights for two years, it had to reduce operational costs by downsizing its fleet to eight jets.

He said more than 1,000 employees at TAAX won't be affected immediately as the company has to wait and see how the rehabilitation plan develops in the next stage.

If the restructuring process requires the airline to cut those expenses, it has to follow orders, said Mr Tassapon.

"We hope the rehabilitation process will be finished within 8-12 months and have a minimal impact during the transition period. During this time, all flight expansion remains the same as announced," he said.

TAAX filed the petition with the court on May 17 and it was accepted on May 18.

Once the court grants its order for TAAX to enter into the rehabilitation process, it will prepare a rehabilitation plan to strengthen its financial status and ensure services at full capacity, said Mr Tassapon.

In the company statement, it said the rehabilitation plan will have no impact on Thai AirAsia and Asia Aviation Plc, which are separate entities with discrete operations and routes.

He said the rehabilitation process of TAAX follows Malaysia's Airasia X, which completed its debt restructuring process in March.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (12)

Chinese carriers go on Airbus buying spree

Airbus has won one of its biggest ever single-day hauls, selling almost 300 airliners worth more than $37 billion to four Chinese airlines in a coup for the European manufacturer in its tussle with Boeing for dominance in Asia’s largest economy.

19:52

Pyongyang blames Covid on ‘alien things’

North Korea has claimed that people who had touched “alien things” near the border with South Korea were the first to be infected with the coronavirus.

18:48

Rock icon reunited with stolen guitar after 46 years

TOKYO: They say you never forget your first love, and after pining for his stolen guitar for almost half a century, Canadian rock star Randy Bachman has finally been reunited with the instrument which an eagle-eyed fan tracked down in Japan.

18:37