Thai Airways to continue to be national flag carrier despite financial woes

Thai Airways International (THAI) will continue to be the country’s flag carrier, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha said on Monday, despite the company’s ongoing financial woes.

“Thai Airways is still and will always be Thailand’s flags carrier,” he told reporters at the Government House.

The premier said he had spoken to his economic team on the airline’s rehabilitation plan and he was “happy” that everything is improving. He said the airline still has liquidity with lowered monthly costs.

When asked if the government will change its current plan for the airline, Prayut said everything will remain as planned for the moment but if there is anything urgent that needed to be changed, it could be changed.  

He said the government has maintained the same budget that the airline has asked for but if the airline needs more then it could be discussed later.

He said the government has yet to grant any permission for extra cash injections.

Finance minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith refused to comment to the media on the issue after his meeting with Prayut on Monday.  

THAI had already cut some 4,250 staff members in April this year as part of cost-cutting measures imposed by its rehabilitation board.

The airline said in September that it was planning to sell 42 aircraft by the end of the year as part of its business rehabilitation plan.

Chai Iamsiri, the new accountancy executive for the airline, told Thai Enquirer that the airline needs to raise additional 50-billion-baht capital in the next two years in order to keep the company afloat.

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