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Battered Thai Airways seeks government protection from creditors

Jack Burton

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Battered Thai Airways seeks government protection from creditors | The Thaiger
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Struggling national flag carrier Thai Airways is seeking government support in 4 key areas, including negotiating with foreign creditors and renegotiating contracts with other state enterprises. The director-general of the State Enterprise Policy Office said yesterday that the airline is seeking state help after the Central Bankruptcy Court accepted its request for rehabilitation.

The airline also wants the government to examine its time slots in order to boost its competitiveness and that of its alliance airlines, according to the director-general, who is also secretary of the government committee formed to follow up on the airline’s rehabilitation plan. The committee is chaired by Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam, who has announced publicly that the beleaguered carrier won’t fly again until at least the end of this month.

A spokesman said the national carrier wants the government to coordinate negotiations with foreign creditors, as it wants them to accept its rehab plan under Thailand’s Bankruptcy Court. The company also wants the government to help renegotiate financial dealings with other state enterprises, such as Petroleum Authority of Thailand and Airports of Thailand. Now that the Finance Ministry has dropped its stake in the airline below 50%, Thai Airways has lost its state enterprise status and wants to revise contracts it made with state agencies.

Meanwhile, the deputy agriculture and cooperatives minister said the 86 savings cooperatives involved need to find common ground when it comes to the 43 billion baht the airline owes them. Of the 86, 85 invested in the airline’s debentures and 1 bought shares.

The carrier carries a total debt of 300 billion baht, and the minister warned that if the cooperatives don’t stick together, they may not get reasonable compensation as foreign creditors may take all of Thai Airways’s assets.

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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Business

AOT considering joint venture with Thai Airways to keep services running

Maya Taylor

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AOT considering joint venture with Thai Airways to keep services running | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

The company that runs 6 of Thailand’s airports says it wants to work with Thai Airways to ensure airport services can continue while the national carrier goes through a “rehabilitation” process and struggles with the loss of business caused by the Covid-19 crisis. Airports of Thailand president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn says the AOT board is in talks about a joint venture with the troubled airline to protect operations such as cargo, maintenance, repairs, and ground services at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

“The running of these three units cannot be disrupted, because that would affect the operations of Suvarnabhumi Airport.”

All Thai Airways flights have been grounded since June, with the ailing national carrier embarking on a rehabilitation process. Nitinai says once that process is complete, AOT is willing to let Thai Airways buy back its shares in airport services. A court hearing on August 17 will determine if the airline’s rehabilitation plan can go ahead without opposition. At that point, both parties can enter joint venture talks.

Nation Thailand reports that Thai Airways owes AOT around 3 billion baht. It’s understood 2 billion of that is owed to technicians at Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport and has been an ongoing source of disagreement between both companies. Nitinai says his priority right now is not the recovery of this debt, but rather ensuring airport services can continue to run smoothly.

One suggestion included in the national airlines’ rehabilitation plan is to separate business units such as mechanics, catering, products and mailing, to invite private investments for each group.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Expats

UK’s Kew Green Hotels launches 7 properties in Bangkok

The Thaiger

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UK’s Kew Green Hotels launches 7 properties in Bangkok | The Thaiger

Despite a quickly changing business environment for the world hospitality industry, some companies are accelerating expansion plans in anticipation of the eventual recovery.

Kew Green Hotels, one of the UK’s leading hotel management companies with over 55 hotels in its portfolio, has now announced plans to expand into the south east Asian market through a joint venture with Siamese Asset. The new entity, Siamese and Kew Green Management Company Thailand, are launching 7 properties in Bangkok, 4 under the Wyndham Hotels & Resorts brand. Alongside the launch of these 7 properties, Kew Green Hotels will also be launching a Commercial Hub for south east Asia to support the region, based in Bangkok.

Siamese and Kew Green Management Company Thailand will launch 4 hotel and branded residences in the heart of Bangkok next year…

The Wyndham Queen Convention Centre, Wyndham Garden Sukhumvit 42, Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Sukhumvit 48 and Ramada by Wyndham Sukhumvit 87, with an additional three properties in the pipeline. Guests staying at each of the Wyndham Hotels & Resorts will have access to Wyndham Rewards, the global hotel loyalty rewards program.

Kew Green Hotels set themselves apart by “combining years of experience with innovative ideas to deliver outstanding hotel services and by delivering exceptional returns for hotel owners. Combining market-leading technology with expert talent, the Commercial Hub will integrate proactive and reactive sales, marketing, analytics and revenue management, to support their increasing hotel portfolio in the region, providing a consolidated approach to deliver growth”.

Chris Dexter, CEO of Kew Green Hotels, says they look forward to delivering “world-renowned Thai hospitality in these seven properties, supported by our state-of-the-art commercial hub”.

“As a growing company, this milestone reflects Kew Green Hotels’ broadening expertise in the international hotel market and reputation for operational excellence, strong commercial awareness and industry leading profit delivery.”

The Wyndham Queen Convention Centre Hotel & Residences, with 120 rooms and suites, is conveniently located just 50m from Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre MRT station, yet close to the greenery of Benjakitti and Lumpini parks. The hotel and residences offer panoramic views of the city, the bustling Port of Bangkok and outstanding surroundings. Amenities include rooftop gardens, a sky lounge, infinity pool, restaurant, executive lounge and an expansive fitness room, all with spectacular panoramic cityscape views. The hotel is just five minutes from contemporary shopping centres within the vibrant Central Business District of Bangkok.

Wyndham Garden Sukhumvit 42 sits in the heart of Ekkamai, known for its lively collection of popular cafés, bars and restaurants and just 300m from Ekkamai BTS station and five minutes from the Ramindra-Art-Narong Expressway. The hotel offers 120 rooms with city views, a roof-top garden, a restaurant, a Kafeology coffee bar on the terrace, swimming pool, spa and gym.

Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Sukhumvit 48 offers 100 rooms together with a sky bar, restaurant, bar lounge and spa with far reaching views across the city plus a swimming pool and gardens. The hotel is less than 10 minutes’ walk from Phra Khanong BTS station with easy connectivity to world-class shopping, dining and nightlife.

Ramada by Wyndham Sukhumvit 87 is located between BTS Bang Chak and BTS Onnut at 430m and 550m respectively, with convenient access to shopping malls and entertainment in the Ekkamai area. With 85 rooms, the hotel offers a dedicated yoga room and roof-top gardens, a swimming pool, garden and Kafeology coffee bar.

UK’s Kew Green Hotels launches 7 properties in Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand producing over 4 million face masks a day

Maya Taylor

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Thailand producing over 4 million face masks a day | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

An increase in production facilities means Thailand is now producing 4.2 million face masks a day, leading to a growing surplus. A report in Nation Thailand says Internal Trade Director Vichai Pochanakit says producers in China are once again exporting the raw materials needed for mask production.

The Thai government is now looking at ways to manage a daily surplus of more than 1 million face masks. It currently purchases 3 million masks a day from 16 factories. Of these, the Public Health Ministry takes 1.8 million and is now understood to have amassed more than a month’s supply. The Interior Ministry gets 1.2 million masks a day, with officials now in talks to distribute extra masks to organisations that may need them, such as airlines.

Officials have also decided to extend Thailand’s ban on the export of masks until at least February 2021. An exception is being made for certain categories of masks, including those produced under Board of Investment tax incentives specifically for the export market, those that filter out chemical particles, and masks exported to embassies in foreign countries.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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