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Thai Airways cuts another 4,250 staff, offering them early retirement

Tim Newton



4,250 Thai Airways employees have been pushed into an early retirement after failing a screening process for remaining employees. The process was a necessary result of the national airlines’ dire financial situation and current debt restructuring program. Remaining staff are being forced into new, leaner contacts.

The 13,554 remaining Thai Airways staff went through the screening program. 9,304 passed, according to the Bangkok Post. The 4,250 staff who failed will be able to receive early retirement benefits or apply for the next round of staff screening. Employees who passed the screening will continue to work for the legacy airline will sign contracts that start on May 1. Many of the ‘cushy’ contractual staff benefits are now missing from the new contracts, and more in line with modern aviation businesses.

People who missed out on the first round of screenings have been informed that they can apply for the second round, starting next Monday. The results are being announced on April 28. Otherwise they have until the end of today to apply for the early retirement benefits. They won’t be replaced as Thai Airways continues to find the best way to reduce its past inflated staff numbers.

The retirement packages are being paid in 4 instalments over 12 months. The first payment will be made in June this year.

Meanwhile union representatives are disputing the terms of the new contracts for Thai Airways staff. The labour union claims the changes have removed, or diluted, many former staff entitlements and welfare benefits. The union called on Thailand’s Department of Labour Protection and Welfare to review the changes and check if they align with the debt-restructuring plan submitted to the Central Bankruptcy Court.

Thai Airways, with its fleet mostly grounded since April last year, is still in the midst of a lengthy bankruptcy proceedings. Most of its creditors are overseas aircraft leasing companies. There’s also tens of thousands of ticket holders who are demanding refunds for flights that were cancelled as a result of the groundings in 2020.

The Thai government cut Thai Airways free after bailing them out of debt every year over the decade before 2020 by selling their controlling stake in the airline.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    Hungry Farang

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    One time in lifetime I bought a ticket at this airline. I will *never ever* fly with thai airways again.

  2. Avatar


    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    It is better to get early retirement, put money in new business in this time, just wait for recovery, you will surely be a millionaire in 2 years. Thai Air debts has been piling for many years, even good years. The problem won’t be solved in 5 years, even solved, it will go to it in two good years. Selling papaya salad is much better.

  3. Avatar


    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    Just shut down this misery once and for all. Thai Airways cant even afford to pay their licence for their IFE onboard and has to pay everything in cash since their credits are ZERO, fuel, cleaning, catering etc. And so far, not one single customer has got a single baht in refund for tickets bought before the pandemic hit. But still Thai has the nerve to campaign for their Orchid memberships credit cards around the country in shopping malls etc. Those who fall for that must be dumber then a rock, a 100% scam. Shut your pathetic operations down Thai and face the reality.

  4. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    I do not understand.
    Have they been given early retirement with no benefits, not even a golden goodbye sum?
    Not even a Thai Airways clock?
    Seems to be there is a slow wind down, and when there is very little money left, the executives will take it as severance pay.
    The government share in the company will be lost, which is the Thai peoples’ money.
    All that will be left will be the realisation that no refunds for tickets will be made, international resolve never to trust anything Thai, and never to pay money up front to Thais.

  5. Avatar


    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    “The retirement packages are being paid in 4 instalments over 12 months. The first payment will be made in June this year.”

    Good luck with that

  6. Avatar

    A Web Revolution

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    Employees who passed the screening will continue to work for the legacy airline will sign contracts that start on May 1.

  7. Avatar


    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    Not only the Thai government and the Thai people will loose everything but many other international institutional investors. Looking at the shareholders list, it’s impressive to see so many “shrewd investment banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions have been caught in these demises.

    Many of us may have been shareholders without knowing it through our pension funds.

  8. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    I’m surprised anybody is trying to resurrect this company.

    Would have thought”never let a good crisis go to waste”school of thought would be used.
    Could have just closed up shop with no loss of face and blame everything on the pandemic.

    My suspicions are the attempt to raise the phoenix from the ashes may well be for the vultures to pick the remains of the carcass completely clean.

  9. Avatar


    Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 12:58 am

    It’s not in the interests of anyone if Thai Air goes under, the carriers that are left will increase their prices big time on all routes, in my case London to Bangkok will have one direct carrier left which is Eva Air.

  10. Avatar


    Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    It’s about time this company started acting a bit more responsibly financially. I doubt the Thai government is going to fund future losses indefinitely so it needs to right size to be able to compete. Many of its competitors don’t have cushy benefits and crippling fixed costs so those will have to go otherwise the company should just liquidate now. The labor unions are delusional if they think those cushy benefits will be preserved.

    Those being let go are lucky to be getting severance pay. Those remaining are lucky to have jobs.

    They need to figure out other cost cutting steps asap as the clock has been ticking.

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented over 10,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 650 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. As founder of The Thaiger, Tim now acts as the Content Manager and head-writer, whilst supervising the growth of the YouTube channel. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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