Court accepts THAI's recovery plan

Court accepts THAI's recovery plan

Debt-ridden airline edges nearer survival

The Central Bankruptcy Court (CBC) has accepted Thai Airways International's (THAI) debt rehabilitation plan containing three amendments made by creditors.

With the plan clearing the first step in court, the financially troubled airline is advancing further in its debt restructuring process.

The airline's creditors met on May 19 and formally approved the latest plan, which emphasises the state's role in helping the struggling flag carrier secure vital loans.

Appointed to manage the plan are THAI's acting president Chansin Treenuchagron, the airline's independent director Piyasvasti Amranand, deputy finance permanent secretary Pornchai Teerawej, former energy minister Siri Jirapongpan and Kraisorn Baramee-auychai, the former director-general of the Department of Legal Execution.

The airline is seeking to restructure 245 billion baht of debt through payment extensions, interest waivers and debt-to-equity conversions.

The court postponed an earlier hearing after creditors filed two complaints against it to allow planners and creditors to clarify several issues.

Mr Chansin said on Tuesday the court's acceptance of the plan effectively formalised the appointment of the five administrators and they would manage the airline's rehabilitation for at least five years.

He thanked all parties involved and said the airline would emerge from the debt restructuring stronger and more competitive.

Last month, 28 out of the 36 groups, representing 13,000 creditors owed 116 billion baht by the airline, voted in favour of the amended plan.

One change stipulates that THAI should be allowed to operate all its businesses with the same privileges it enjoyed before it ceased to become a state-owned enterprise and entered the debt-rehabilitation process.

The creditors also amended clauses relating to the company's financial management, which they deemed necessary to facilitate the repayment of outstanding obligations and procurement of fresh loans to maintain the airline's cash balances.

They also approved several amendments proposed by the Federation of Savings and Credit Cooperatives of Thailand.

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