BANGKOK – Thailand’s cabinet has approved a plan to restructure Thai Airways International Plc’s finances through a bankruptcy court, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said on Tuesday (19 May).
Thai Airways said it will be able to operate flights and run its business as usual while the plan to restructure is being implemented through the Central Bankruptcy Court of Thailand.
The plan for a court-led restructuring of the national carrier replaces a previous proposal of a government-backed rescue package that was heavily criticised in the country, Reuters reported.
“We have decided to petition for restructuring and not let Thai Airways go bankrupt. The airline will continue to operate,” Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters at a news briefing.
Should the request be accepted by the bankruptcy court, Thai Airways would be granted an automatic stay restricting legal action from creditors.
“The Cabinet also agreed the government will reduce its holding in Thai Airways to under 50%, ending the airline’s status as a state-enterprise”, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob told reporters.
“Thai Airways will not be dissolved or go into liquidation or be declared bankrupt,” Thai Airways acting president Chakkrit Parapuntakul said in a statement.
Operations including passenger and cargo transportation will continue in parallel with the plan, he said.
Thai Airways has been in troubled waters before the coronavirus outbreak due to stiff competition from budget airlines and bloated costs.
Thai Airways air tickets are still valid for travel and passengers holding those tickets are advised to contact the airline via its website or contact centre.