THAI rejects plan to sell off property

THAI rejects plan to sell off property

Charamporn disputes bankruptcy rumours

A consultant has suggested Thai Airways International Plc (THAI) sells its main office building on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road and its properties abroad as part of its business rehabilitation plan.

The consultant's study adds to the rumour that the national carrier will be declared bankrupt on Monday, which the company's top executive has denied.

According to information obtained by the Bangkok Post, THAI president Charamporn Jotikasthira has hired a US-based business consultancy firm to study the company's business rehabilitation plan following the airline's huge losses and debts.

Based on the company's financial statements submitted to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, THAI lost 9.2 billion baht in the first nine months of last year with total debts of 262.5 billion baht. The company recorded a loss of 12 billion baht in 2013.

According to the study, the consultant has recommended that the company rents property after it sells off property on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.

The consultant also suggested the company must sell off the properties of unit chiefs in eight foreign countries to build up its capital flow to pay off debts and interest. It also recommends THAI halt some of the airline's key routes including Bangkok-Moscow, Bangkok-Johannesburg and Bangkok-Madrid.

A THAI source said most of the company's executives disagreed with the consultant's proposal, particularly selling off the headquarters.

According to the source, executives noted that the proposal mainly focuses on selling off the company's assets, including properties and aeroplanes. 

The consultant fails to pay attention to the improvement in the company's sales operation which has been its weak point, the source said. "Several executives think the proposal is not aimed at boosting the company's competitiveness but in fact the consultant wants the company to go bankrupt and sell off its assets," the source said.

However, the source admitted the company's losses for last year could reach 10 billion baht.

The rumour about the company going bankrupt was shared online among THAI staff and the labour union allegedly plan to call a rally on Monday at the company's headquarters against management's plan to declare bankruptcy.

However, Damrong Waiyakanee, the THAI labour union president, denied the rumour yesterday, saying the union has no plans to stage a rally and THAI staff should stop sharing false information.

Mr Charamporn also denied the company is about to go bankrupt. "THAI's financial status is not bad enough for the company to declare itself bankrupt. The rumour was started by people with bad intentions," he said.

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