Thai Airways workers’ union receptive to rehabilitation plan but warns employees must be taken care of too

Thai Airway’s Workers’ Union said that the group were receptive of the company’s plan to submit a rehabilitation motion to the bankruptcy court but warned that the employees must also factor in the company and government’s decision making.

Nares Peungyam, President of the THAI Union, said that he believes the new plans, which was approved by the cabinet on Tuesday, would be successful and would bear fruit within two year’s time.

Nares said that the 20,000 strong work force was prepared to lose some of their benefits if it would see the airline compete on an international scale but asked the government to avoid mass layoffs.

Minister of Transport Saksayam Chidchob told reporters on Tuesday that the government would negotiate with the union to find a way to compromise as the company restructures under the rehabilitation plan.

Saksayam said that THAI was about 200 billion baht in debt and that he will be setting up talks with the company’s creditors to find a way out.

Under the new plans, the Ministry of Transport will divest from the company and allow it to be majority private-owned.

TRIS Rating

Tris Rating on Tuesday downgraded THAI’s rating to C from BBB.

“The downgrade reflects the anticipation of a standstill on all debt obligations of THAI under the bankruptcy law,” the rating company said in a statement. 

It added that upon the occurrence of a standstill or if there are payment defaults prior to the standstill, the ratings on THAI will be downgraded to “D” for “Default”.

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