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Thai Airways adds another 21.5 billion baht debt in Q3 report

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Thai Airways has accumulated more losses, on top of a decade of annual losses, for the latest quarter. At the moment the national airline’s debt is four times higher than last year’s debt. The airline, already struggling, has been mostly grounded since the end of March. At the end of last week Thai Airways put 34 of its old planes up for sale (you have until tomorrow to put in a bid). 5,000 employees were also being shed in an early retirement offer under its current rehabilitation plan. It’s also selling spare parts and other random stock in its warehouse as well as leasing out part of its offices to save costs.

Acting airline president Chansin Treenuchagron says the carrier’s net loss in Q3, up to the end of September, was 21.5 billion baht. In the third quarter in 2019 the debt was 4.68 billion baht. Passenger numbers were down 92% compared to the same time last year.

The airline industry, along with all other sectors in the tourism industry, has been hard hit by the rolling pandemic. Tourism has been a key contributor to Thailand’s annual GDP, around 20% either directly or indirectly attributable to the country’s tourism industry.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand suspended trading in Thai Airways shares today after auditors refused to comment on its balance sheet to the end of last month, according to the Bangkok Post. Thai Airways shares closed yesterday at 3.20 baht, down 2.4% from the day before.

The embattled national airline remains under “financial rehabilitation” approved by Thailand’s Bankruptcy Court. Thai Airways lost its status as a state enterprise after reporting huge accumulating debt and applying for more bailout funds from the Thai government. At that time, the middle of this year, the airline had accumulated 28 billion in debt.

The airline is going to have to a lot more than selling off a few spare parts, opening pop-up cafes or offloading worn out planes to reduce its debt.

 

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