THAI wants 'super board' nod for loans

Thai Airways International (THAI) will submit a plan to the state enterprise "super board" looking to secure massive loans to revitalise the ailing airline. 

Finance permanent secretary Rungson Sriworasat said the plan would need to be considered by the super board, which was created by the military junta to supervise the operations of state enterprises.

If the plan is approved, the Finance Ministry, the majority shareholder in the national carrier, would procure loans needed to restructure THAI's internal operations and eventually return it to profit. 

It is still not clear how much the loans would amount to.

The super board has ordered the airline — among several other financially-troubled state enterprises — to conduct a due diligence report and hand the findings to policy makers as part of efforts to boost efficiency.

This year, THAI's liquidity looks to be manageable. The airline will sell up to four aircraft, and the revenue from the sales, combined with between 2 and 3 billion baht in loans that THAI has secured without the help of the Finance Ministry, should be sufficient to see the carrier's operations through the current fiscal year. 

However, Mr Rungson said THAI is likely to run into bigger liquidity problems in the near future. It was imperative that the airline map out organisational reforms for the next fiscal year which correspond to the rehabilitation plan, he said.

THAI is required by the super board to complete its due diligence report within three months. 

Mr Rungson said the report was "a very big deal" as it involves digging up information that may have been swept under the carpet. He vowed swift punishment against anyone found involved in signing contracts tainted by graft. 

THAI recorded a 12-billion-baht loss last year and was 2.63 billion baht in the red in the first quarter of this year.

The airline plans to shed 1,500 jobs this year as part of a restructuring plan in which it targets to cut more than a quarter of its full-time employees by 2018.

Share your thoughts

Back to top

More From Bangkokpost.com