Thai Airways gains court approval for restructuring

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Use this oneThai Airways received court approval on Tuesday (15 June) to restructure US$12.9 billion in debt and move ahead with its plan to revamp the airline that like other carriers has been as severely hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic and the near total shutdown in international flights. The airline last year posted a record loss of US$4.5 billion. In a later developmet on Wednesday (16 June), the airline said its acting chief executive officer, Chansin Treenuchagron, had resigned. The airline’s chief of human resources, Suvadhana Sibunruang, will take over as acting CEO, the company said in a statement. Chansin will remain as an administrator of the airline’s business rehabilitation plan.

In its order from Tuesday, the Central Bankruptcy Court in Bangkok said it approved the rehabilitation plan. It did not make any changes to the plan that had been approved by creditors. A hearing was postponed after two complaints filed against the plan by certain creditors. “We are satisfied with the decision,” Somboon Sangrungjang of the law firm Kudun and Partners, which represents 87 saving cooperatives, told Reuters. A committee of five, including the airline’s acting chief executive Chansin Treenuchagron and its former CEO Piyasvasti Amranand, will administer the plan, which covers the airline’s

The restructuring plan relies heavily on debt extensions and debt-to-equity conversions, and limits most of the haircuts to late interest payments. The airline is also reducing debt with airplane lessors. Leasing agreements for 16 jets are being cancelled and the debt is being negotiated, chief financial officer Chai Eamsiri told a news conference. The airline is in talks with government and private financial institutions to obtain new capital to support its cash flow. Thai Airways this month resumed routes between European cities and the resort island of Phuket in Thailand, anticipating a government scheme to allow vaccinated tourists to skip a mandatory quarantine. It expects to carry about a thousand passengers in July.

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