Thai Airways to borrow less amid recovery
Thai Airways International (THAI) requires only half the money which it initially estimated would be needed for recapitalisation, given its consistently positive performance, a high-level meeting was told.
The meeting on Wednesday was attended by airline executives, those in charge of the carrier's rehabilitation plan, senior officials at the Finance Ministry, Fiscal Policy Office director-general Pornchai Thiraveja and State Enterprise Policy Office (Sepo) director-general Pantip Sripimol.
The meeting -- held to follow up on THAI's financial rehabilitation -- was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.
Emerging from the meeting, Ms Pantip said those who participated were updated on the progress of the airline's rehabilitation after the Central Bankruptcy Court in October approved THAI's revised business reorganisation plan.
It was presented following a better-than-expected recovery from the most financially trying period in the national carrier's history.
Despite improvements in the airline's operational performance and balance sheet, helped by a solid recovery in tourism, THAI will still need to comply strictly with the rehab plan with the government's oversight, Ms Pantip added.
THAI recently released the performance results of the company and its subsidiaries in the third quarter. Its operating profit, excluding one-time transactions, amounted to 3.9 billion baht, compared to the 5.3-billion-baht loss in the same period last year. Total revenue was 32.86 billion baht, higher than the same period last year by 582%.
Ms Pantip said the meeting was also told that THAI was on track to emerge from rehab by 2025.
THAI's liquidity has returned after the reopening of borders prompted by the easing of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has increased air travel demand. For this reason, the airline will need to borrow less than originally planned to finance its operations and recapitalise. The airline has cut its borrowing target of 50 billion baht by half.
Ms Pantip said despite the improvements, the airline still needs loans to maintain its liquidity and drive business growth.