The Thai Cabinet resolved this afternoon to send Thai Airways, the national carrier, to Bankruptcy Court at the Central Bankruptcy Court in order to work out its rehabilitation plan as the Prime Minister released a message regarding the decision on his social media accounts.
The Pattaya News posted the message in full on our social media accounts earlier, here is the message from the Prime Minister of Thailand in regards to the decision that was made by the Cabinet, the following is in his own words and unedited:
“Today, I had to make a very difficult decision regarding Thai Airways. But it is one that I know is in the best interests of every member of the public and of our country.
I had three choices: find more money for Thai Airways to continue; or, let it go bankrupt; or, refuse to finance Thai Airways but put it into court-supervised rehabilitation. I’ve decided on the third option.
In this time of crisis for Thailand (and the world) when everyone’s livelihood is being destroyed by the Covid catastrophe, we need to keep the nation’s money to help the public in the months ahead: to help farmers, SMEs, the self-employed, and every other hardworking citizen trying to earn an honest living.
We have made good progress in trying to control the health crisis from Covid, especially when compared with other countries. But, the Covid crisis is not just about health. We are about to enter an even more serious crisis: the financial crisis that is hitting every person in Thailand. People have lost their livelihoods and still do not know when they may be able to go back to earning a normal income. This is an economic crisis that is likely to get even more serious.
This is why I must save the people’s money for programmes that can directly help them survive and then rebuild their lives, and the country’s economy.
I would like us to go back and think about why we have Thai Airways? Thai Airways exists to build our country’s reputation and support the prosperity of Thais, and it needs to be strong enough to stand on its own feet and compete globally. That is the basis on which I made today’s decision.
I realise that this decision for the government not to finance Thai Airways risked the abandonment of more than 20,000 Thai Airways staff. I also do not want to see that. Under this court-supervised rehabilitation process Thai Airways may continue to fly and its staff still be employed, but, importantly, it can now start a much-delayed restructuring of the airline.
The court will appoint professionals to supervise its rehabilitation and restructuring in a professional way and I hope that we may be able to see again an airline that Thais can be proud about and which can contribute to the prosperity of Thailand.” –Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha, May 19th, 2020.
Acting THAI president Chakkrit Parapuntakul said the airline would not go bankrupt but would carry out its rehabilitation plan effectively. Pending the rehabilitation process, the airline would continue with its normal service, he said.
THAI recorded a net loss of 11.6 billion baht in 2018 and 12 billion baht in 2019. For the first half of this year, the airline is projected to record a loss of 18 billion baht due to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.