26 Jan 2015 – AsiaConsult – Silas Berry – Aviation – Bankruptcy -Thailand
Debt-burdened Thai Airways International (THAI) will not need to declare bankruptcy because the government is supporting it, but it must undergo major rehabilitation including some asset sales, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Monday.
After attending a meeting of the government’s committee on state enterprise policies, the so-called superboard, Gen Prayut said solutions were being discussed. The national airline would have to cut expenses, increase revenue, drop unprofitable routes, restructure its assets and sell some aircraft.
He said that THAI would have to sell some assets, such as the aircraft that are not being used. Sales of these assets would be direct to customer. There would be no middleman, he said. Transport Minister Prajin Juntong said that THAI would reduce its workforce from 25,000 to 20,000. THAI president Charamporn Jotikasthira said the plan to slash about 5,000 jobs will be carried out only after other measures to control and cut costs have failed.
THAI also will sell 22 of 102 planes by the end of July, but has yet to decide on other assets, such as overseas residences and offices and ownership shares in hotels. The airline also will postpone acceptance of new aircraft, he said.