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Thai AirAsia suspends flights, cuts salaries as financial woes continue

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Wikimedia

As Thailand’s airlines continue to struggle with the financial fallout from Covid-19, Thai AirAsia has suspended all flights for this month. The carrier is also cutting staff salaries or deferring partial or whole payment until September. According to a Bangkok Post report, the airline’s financial woes are worsening as low passenger numbers show no sign of improving and cash flow has taken a hit.

Following curbs on domestic travel introduced last month, TAA grounded its fleet and says flights will remain suspended after it failed to obtain a loan. As is the case with all domestic carriers, TAA is dealing with worsening liquidity problems, which is having an impact on staff salaries.

The Bangkok Post reports that TAA has been forced to defer the payment of some salaries, either partially or entirely. It’s understood that executive salaries from July will not be paid until September, while staff at operational level will only receive 50% of their July salary this month, with the remainder paid in September. Inactive employees will get 25% of their salaries in September. The airline is banking on the current crisis easing next month and hoping to secure a loan that will allow flights to resume.

Meanwhile, in other aviation news, the International Air Transport Association has criticised the high cost of Covid-19 PCR tests, calling it a barrier to travel. IATA is also urging the government to be more flexible in allowing the use of cheaper antigen tests. A recent IATA survey reveals that 86% of participants are happy to be tested. However, 70% believe the high cost is a deterrent to travelling and 78% say the government should cover the costs of mandatory testing.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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