Thai Airways International (THAI) has admitted that debt rehabilitation has kept it from refunding customers for unused tickets.
THAI's Corporate Image and Communications Department said on Thursday it is unable to offer refunds at this time as the Central Bankruptcy Court admitted the airline's request for rehab under the bankruptcy law on Wednesday.
The airline is restricted by obligations under the law which prevents it from disbursing refunds at this point in time. But it promises to return the money within six months without any fees.
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced THAI to ground its flights. Unconditional refunds are just one of many remedies for customers, which also includes postponing travel dates with no extra charge, extending the tickets' validity, and exchanging the tickets for travel vouchers of equal value.
The airline pledged to continue to take care of customers holding valid tickets as well as members of the Royal Orchid Plus, its loyalty programme.
The airline said it was confident it will beat the odds and overcome the crisis that has beset the company and emerge stronger.
THAI earlier announced on its website that it will resume flight operations in July, a delay by one month as borders slowly begin to reopen and passenger start trickling in.
"However, the (planned) resumption in July 2020 is still under consideration. THAI is monitoring the situation and preventive measures and lockdowns in each country as well as travel demand to resume services as the Covid-19 situation improves," the airline's website said.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has already banned all scheduled international flights into Thailand until the end of next month.
THAI, saddled under a massive 244.9 billion baht of outstanding debt, will be protected from foreclosures until the debt rehabilitation affair is sorted out with creditors and approved by the court, a process which could take up to six months.
Also on Thursday, THAI asked the Central Bankruptcy Court to remove Pailin Chuchottaworn from the list of nominated rehab planners, according to a source. Mr Pailin was among four people appointed to the THAI board on Monday.
He quit the board citing a violation of an anti-graft regulation which bars anyone assuming a position in any organisation in which the government holds a stake within two years of leaving a cabinet minister's post.