THAI Airways says it no longer seeks massive loans, economic situation looking better

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Getting loans is no longer a priority for Thai Airways International (THAI)’s debt rehabilitation plan and the airline expects to resume trade on the stock market by 2025, the president of a panel overseeing the rehabilitation said on Friday.

“We are seeing a clear recovery and we are readjusting the rehabilitation plan with less loans to make it truly sustainable,” said Piyasvasti Amranand.

The new plan was submitted to the Central Bankruptcy Court on Friday.

The airline was already in financial trouble prior to the Covid-19 pandemic with yearly losses of more than 10 billion baht.

In 2020, the airline’s lost 141 billion baht.

The airline was said to be looking for loans to offset the cost of the pandemic and resuming operations.

However, under rehabilitation plans which came with the launch of new businesses and the selling of assets including airplanes, the company booked profits of 55 billion baht in 2021.

Piyasvasti said the easing of entry regulations and domestic Covid prevention measures since November 2021 led to a significant increase in the number of passengers in 2022.

He said as the airline is making more income, they are now less dependent on loans to sustain their cash flow.

Piyasvasti said the number of passengers on THAI’s international flights has increased from less than 1,000 passengers per day during the first 10 months of 2021 to the current 13,000 passengers per day.

He said the airline made 6.8 billion baht worth of income in June and they expect to make another eight billion in July, based on advance ticket bookings.

The airline currently has around 14 billion baht worth of cash in hand, well over the previous estimate of five billion baht.

He said the old plan to look for a total of 50 billion baht worth of loans has been scrapped. The new plan now involves the seeking of short-term loans worth 12.5 billion and another 12.5 billion in long-term loans instead.

He also said the airline will also offer debtors the right to change the long-term loans into capital instead.

“If the cash flow situation continues to improve, there might not even be any need for these new long-term loans at all,” he said.

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