UPDATED: Thai Airways to be ‘rehabilitated’ via bankruptcy court

Airline will not resume international flight operations until 30 June

The national flag carrier last March filed a petition to be rehabilitated under court supervision and was one one of the world's first legacy carriers to go under due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

The government of Thailand announced Tuesday (19 May) that flag carrier Thai Airways International will be restructured in a bankruptcy court in a process that was finalised Monday by the country’s State Enterprise Committee, which oversees policies for state-owned enterprises. Thai Airways, like every other carrier in the world, has suffered because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the virtual halt to air traffic.

“Thai Airways will enter a rehabilitation process under the court,” said Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “This is my decision and the cabinet’s,” he added.

The committee retracted its earlier resolution to grant a short-term loan backed by the Finance Ministry.

“The prime minister has stressed the need to make the public understand that this is not about entering bankruptcy, but undergoing a process of rehabilitation,” said government spokesperson Narumon Pinyosinwat on Monday. Thailand’s bankruptcy law covers both bankruptcy proceedings and rehabilitation proceedings.

Thai Airways said it would not resume its international flight operations until 30 June, after the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand extended its landing ban for international flights for another month.

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.


  1. What does “‘rehabilitated’ via bankruptcy court” mean for passengers who have already paid for cancelled flights and have applied for a refund? Will Thai Airways honor refunds under the “rehabilitation”?

  2. @Nitsa Wilde: I have read in their website and mobile app. They will honor refunds. They have the refund options. So, either go to their website or mobile app and formalised it. Inspite of the “rehab” they will still honor the refund.

  3. The refund option is to email them at reservations@,
    You then receive an automated email as below which I received.
    The difficulty is you probably wont be successful with a Chargeback via your bank/CC or Debit Card against them or with your travel insurance, because they are not saying no you cant have a refund, they are suspending refunds for the time being.
    So leaving us all in limbo really with no time scales as to when something may happen.

    Dear Passenger,

    Thank you for contacting the Thai Airways UK & Ireland Reservations Team.

    Please accept this as confirmation that we have received your email and will get back to you as soon as possible.

    Due the unprecedented worldwide situation outside our control, we are sorry but our current response time is longer than usual and at present we are only contactable by email. We kindly ask you for your patience and understanding.

    Please see our announcement with regards to our temporary suspension of international flights until 31st May here, including all the available options if you have been affected by this suspension.

    In order to assist you better and faster, please note the following:

    · If you booked through a travel agent, you will need to contact them directly for any changes to your booking. We regret to inform you that we cannot action bookings made through travel agents

    · If your query is with regards to the status of your flight, please access your booking via the ‘My Booking’ section of our website

    · If your query is with regards to the Additional Screening Measures for Passengers Travelling to and Transiting Thailand, further information is available here.

    · If you want to change a flight booked on our website and it is due to depart soon, please do not worry – as long as there is a record of you contacting us by email, your booking will remain actionable by us once we are able look into your request.

    · If your query is about a refund, you do not have to do anything else. As long as there is a record of you contacting us, we will get back to you as soon as we are able to process your request. Please note that due to the number of requests being currently received, refunds are estimated to take up to 10 weeks to process.

    Considering the above and if you have contacted us with regards to rebooking, flight cancellations, refunds, and travel vouchers we will get back to you as soon as possible. We apologise in advance but all other queries will not be prioritised. Please also note that we do not provide a call back service.

    We understand this is a challenging time and assure you we are doing our upmost to take care of passengers with imminent travel needs


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