Thai Airways names new CEO

Thai Airways names new CEO

Current CFO Chai Eamsiri chosen from among 53 applicants to take the helm from Feb 1

As part of an overhaul to create a leaner airline, THAI has reduced its fleet size from 103 planes to 58. (Bangkok Post File Photo)
As part of an overhaul to create a leaner airline, THAI has reduced its fleet size from 103 planes to 58. (Bangkok Post File Photo)

Thai Airways International Plc said on Friday that Chai Eamsiri would become the company’s chief executive officer from Feb 1, as it proceeds with its pandemic-driven restructuring plan.

Mr Chai, currently the national carrier’s chief financial officer, was chosen for the top job from 53 internal and external candidates, the company said in a statement.

“The appointment is a crucial next step to build trust and confidence among the creditors, passengers and business partners,” it said, adding that Mr Chai had 37 years of experience and knowledge in the Thai aviation industry.

The airline, which has had acting CEOs since 2020, opened applications for the top job in September. Candidates were required to be Thai nationals in line with government regulations.

THAI began restructuring debt worth 400 billion baht last year. Its revised business rehabilitation plan was approved by the Central Bankruptcy Court last month.

The new CEO will have to work with the restructuring committee and oversee the airline’s recovery.

THAI said earlier this week that it requires only half the amount it initially estimated would be needed for recapitalisation, given its consistently positive performance.

Despite improvements in operational performance and the balance sheet thanks to a steady upturn in tourism, THAI will still need to comply strictly with the rehabilitation plan with the government’s oversight, said Pantip Sripimol, head of the State Enterprise Policy Office.

THAI said its third-quarter operating profit, excluding one-time transactions, amounted to 3.9 billion baht, compared with an operating loss of 5.3 billion in the same period last year.

The company had a net loss of 4.79 billion baht, compared with a net profit of 40 billion in the same period last year, which reflected a large one-off gain from asset sales and restructuring.

Total revenue in the third quarter was 32.7 billion baht, compared with 4.7 billion (excluding the gain from debt restructuring) a year earlier.

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