Court to rule whether to accept THAI rehab petition

Court to rule whether to accept THAI rehab petition

Thai Airways International staff at Suvarnabhumi airport prepare for the arrival of a repatriation flight from Italy yesterday. Varuth Hirunyatheb
Thai Airways International staff at Suvarnabhumi airport prepare for the arrival of a repatriation flight from Italy yesterday. Varuth Hirunyatheb

The Central Bankruptcy Court will announce today whether to accept for examination Thai Airways International's (THAI) rehabilitation petition.

The petition was filed yesterday by THAI with the court to seek to open the way for the rehabilitation of the airline. Given the multitude of paperwork, the court has scheduled the announcement for today.

A source at the court said the rehab under the bankruptcy law may not kick in for two months.

It explained that if the court agrees to examine the petition today, several procedures will follow.

The amount of time the court will spend vetting the petition depends on the complexity of the issue.

Once the examination is done and the court accepts the petition, the automatic stay immediately applies, which will protect the airline from foreclosure under Section 90/12 of the bankruptcy law.

However, the court cannot order rehab on the day it admits the petition. This is because Section 90/9 stipulates that the court must be allowed time to publish its decision to accept the case in the press.

Also, the court needs to send a copy of the airline's petition to creditors and registrars or juristic persons of businesses connected to the airline.

In practice, after the petition is admitted by the court, it might take up to two months before rehab can start. It could get underway quickly if the airline presents the court with updated contact information of its creditors.

State Enterprise Policy Office (Sepo) director-general Prapas Kong-Ied said THAI had not approached the court under a directive from Sepo since it no longer is a state enterprise.

The petition filing yesterday came a day after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha appointed a panel who will work to follow up on THAI's rehab headed by Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.

The Wissanu-led panel is made up of former finance minister Apisak Tantivorawong, finance permanent secretary Prasong Poontaneat, permanent secretary for transport Chaiwat Tongkamkoon, Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning director-general Chayatan Phromsorn, justice permanent secretary Wisit Wisitsora-at, Council of State secretary-general Pakorn Nilprapun, Securities and Exchange Commission secretary general Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol and Mr Prapas from Sepo who also acts as the panel secretary.

The committee represents the government sector in keeping track of THAI's progress in the rehab.

Mr Wissanu explained yesterday the panel is not a "super board" as described by the media but a "middle party" coordinating between the government and the airline, which relinquished its state enterprise status after the Finance Ministry sold 3% of its majority stake to the Vayupak 1 Fund last week.

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