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More trouble for ailing Thai Airways as Airbus calls in its debts

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

Even as struggling national flag carrier Thai Airways strives to come up with blueprint for financial recovery, Airbus is calling in its debts on 30 aircraft rented by the airline. Thailand’s deputy transport minister says the company’s debts were checked on May 15, when documents showed that Airbus is trying to collect debts for rental of 30 airplanes as the due date draws near.

He says that PM Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered the airline’s rehabilitation via the bankruptcy law rather than pursuing the State Enterprise Policy Office’s plan of a 54.7 billion baht loan guaranteed by the government.

Had the government supported its rehabilitation, it would have violated the new State Fiscal and Financial Disciplines Act.

The government has supported the beleaguered carrier for 5 years, but failed to solve the its financial issues, so the bankruptcy procedure is now the best option, according to the deputy minister, who says after the Finance Ministry sells its majority stake, the company will no longer be a state enterprise and will be easier to handle.

The recovery plan must also be filed with the US bankruptcy court to prevent American creditors from seizing all the planes or collecting the airline’s assets.

The 53 Airbus aircraft on loaned to Thai Airways comprise six Airbus A380-800s, 12 A350-900s, 15 A330-300s and 20 A320-200s.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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