Connect with us


Thai Airways gets another lifeline from the government




Thai Airways is finally getting a reprieve, after years of financial woes and corporate drama. The struggling national carrier is getting a lifeline in the form of a bailout loan. Finance permanent secretary Prasong Poontaneat made the announcement yesterday, after a meeting chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The State Enterprise Policy Committee meeting approved “in principle” the proposal to rehabilitate the national carrier. The Finance Ministry is expected to guarantee a loan worth 50 billion baht to rescue the business.

The committee assigned a financial consultant to work out a rehabilitation blueprint to be submitted to the Thai Airways board. Central to the plan is the bailout loan. The airline will remain a state enterprise. A source at Government House said the Finance Ministry will guarantee the loan until the end of the year.

The amount falls below the original plan for a 70 billion baht loan. Moreover, the airline will have to renegotiate its debts with creditors and adopt cost cutting measures.

The loan will be disbursed in installments to spur the airline to stay on track with the rehabilitation. The extension of the loan depends on the content of the rescue plan and the company’s success in implementing it as well as the bailout conditions.

The national carrier posted a net loss of 2.11 billion baht in 2017, which grew to 11.6 billion baht in 2018 and 12 billion last year, according to data from the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Its debt to equity ratio rose to 21 in 2019 from 12 in 2018 and 7.8 in 2017.

Current rules prevent the Finance Ministry from guaranteeing loans to state enterprises that have posted net losses for three consecutive years and are engaged in infrastructure related business. Thai Airways has made three straight years of losses, but its business is not classified as infrastructure.

The Government House source said the meeting on Wednesday acknowledged the financial crisis was affecting not only Thai Airways but airlines around the world. The SEPC’s decision to lift the airline out of its financial hole reflects the belief it will help secure Thailand’s position as the region’s tourism and aviation hub.

The meeting also concluded that as a long-serving national carrier, the airline forms an important part of the country’s identity.

Thai Airways grounded its fleet in early April, but has denied rumours on social media that it will suspend flights for a further 4 months after the end of May.

Unsurprisingly, eight other airlines based in Thailand are seeking a bailout of 25 billion baht, which is being classed as a ‘soft loan’. This means there will be interest applied, at a low rate of 2%, and the airlines will have five years from the start of 2021 to pay it back.

The eight airlines in question are Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, Thai Lion Air, Thai VietJet, Thai Smile, NokScoot and Nok Airlines.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post |


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Phuket31 mins ago

Officials predict 600,000 tourists to Phuket following reopening

Phuket1 hour ago

Technician electrocuted to death while trying to fix jacuzzi

Pattaya1 hour ago

Pattaya pushes for August 1 Sealed Route reopening plan

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Thailand2 hours ago

Mother alleges that Doctor mistakenly gave her 10 year old sleeping pills

Bangkok2 hours ago

1 million Sinopharm doses arrive today

Tourism3 hours ago

Full reopening guidelines for Phuket and Samui

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 3,682 new cases, 20 covid-related deaths, provincial totals

Thailand3 hours ago

Poll shows schools, students, parents, “not ready” for online learning

Chon Buri4 hours ago

Man returns lost parakeet, gets rewarded with BBQ

Thai Life5 hours ago

Thai Lion predicts football matches, other abilities currently unknown

Tourism5 hours ago

Reopening details for Phuket, Samui and beyond laid out

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Multiple Chiang Rai schools to close after infections found

Thailand7 hours ago

Woman falls off building on Pattaya’s Walking Street

Tourism8 hours ago

Refinements to the Sandbox as the countdown continues to Thailand’s reopening

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Sunday: 3,682 new infections and 20 covid-related deaths

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8