UPDATE: SET suspends trading of Thai Airways shares

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UPDATE:
Trading in Thai Airways shares was suspended by the Stock Exchange of Thailand this afternoon after auditors declined to sign off on its financial statements for the six months to June 30. Auditor Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Jaiyos said it couldn’t reach a conclusion on the statements due to issues including a lack of liquidity and debt defaults, which created “material uncertainty” and may affect the value of assets and liabilities.

ORIGINAL STORY:
Embattled, bankrupt Thai Airways suffered about 28 billion baht in losses for the first 6 months of this year, mainly attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seriously impacted its operations and crushed global travel, grounding fleets and shuttering many airlines altogether. The airline’s acting president said today that the pandemic has led to many countries, including Thailand, closing their borders and imposing lockdown measures, including travel restrictions, resulting in substantial reductions in both domestic and international travel. Thai Airways, he said, has had to reduce its flights in line with reduced passenger loads.

For the first quarter of this year, Charnsin Treenuchagron disclosed that the beleaguered national flag carrier and its affiliated companies recorded 38 billion baht in consolidated revenues, a 23.7 billion baht drop year-on-year, largely due to the drastic reduction in passengers and freight. Expenses for the same quarter amounted to 42.6 billion baht, about 8 billion baht, or 15.8% lower last year, resulting in a loss of 22.7 billion baht.

In the second quarter, the Covid-19 pandemic intensified, affecting air travel worldwide, forcing the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand to ban all incoming flights temporarily, said Charnsin, adding that Thai Airways was forced to completely suspend operations temporarily.

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Despite the incoming flight ban, in place since early April and renewed several times already , he added that the airline continues tightening its belt to maintain its liquidity and operates charter and repatriation flights, disclosing that the number of passengers for the first half of the year had dropped 98.6%, to around 80,000.

For the second quarter, the carrier earned 2.5 billion baht in revenue, compared to 40 billion baht last year. Voluntary reduction of salaries by the management and staff for April through December have reduced the company’s expenses for the second quarter to 16.1 billion baht, about 67.4% lower than last year.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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