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Thai Airways says it will stick to ‘rehabilitation plan’ despite 11.6 billion baht loss in 2018

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Thai Airways says it will stick to ‘rehabilitation plan’ despite 11.6 billion baht loss in 2018 | The Thaiger
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It hasn’t been a good week for Thai Airways as the national airline continues to fly passengers to their original destinations days after flights were cancelled and rescheduled due to Pakistan airspace closures. Even yesterday Thai Airways was reporting a backlog of up to 2,000 passengers they were hoping to clear before the end of this weekend.

Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that Thai Airways International reported a net loss of 11.6 billion baht compared to a 2.1 billion baht loss the year before.

The airline is putting its increased losses down to higher fuel and repair costs.

The national carrier reported to the Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday that their operating income rose 3.9% year on year to 199.5 billion baht. At the same time, operating costs jumped over 10% to 205.6 billion baht

Thai Airways’ new President Sumeth Damrongchaitham reported that the airline took delivery of five planes but decommissioned two older Boeing B737s during the past 12 months, resulting in a net addition of three planes to its fleet to 103 planes in service.

The cabin load factor averaged 77.6% in 2018, that’s down from 79.2% the year before.

The company said competition remained high in 2018 and fuel prices were at the highest levels in four years.

Thai Airways says it will stick with its rehabilitation plan, which involves ongoing fleet modernisation and ‘Ground to Sky’ service integration. Other focuses are improved digital marketing and the maintenance repair and overhaul centre at U-Tapao airport near Pattaya.

Thai Airways shares closed down 3.8% to 12.60 baht in trading on the SET.

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Tourism

Covid-19 crisis sees nearly 100 Koh Samui hotels put up for sale

Jack Burton

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Covid-19 crisis sees nearly 100 Koh Samui hotels put up for sale | The Thaiger
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The economic devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic on Thailand’s tourism and hospitality sectors has been inestimable, with foreign arrivals banned since March and hotels nationwide ordered shut in April. Some around the country have since re-opened but nearly 100 hotels on the tourist island of Koh Samui are now for sale.

The president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui says owners of close to 100 local hotels have announced plans put their hotels up for sale, because they lack cash flow and banks won’t lend bridging finance or loans to capitalise. He says their financial problems began late last year and increased in January, then the Covid-19 crisis struck them hard in February.

Some hotel owners have been unable to collect overdue payments from major tour agencies for months (like the TUI Group – read more HERE). Furthermore, during the temporary closure, owners have had no revenue but still had to pay salaries and other costs.

Due to the crisis it’s difficult for them to seek soft loans from banks to maintain their liquidity, according to the president, who says he’d like the government to “provide urgent help to hotel owners with soft loans before it is too late, because hoteliers are in deep financial trouble”.

“The impact is not only on Koh Samui but nationwide.”

After promising transparency, the government unanimously passed a 1.8 trillion baht stimulus package, designed to resuscitate an economy expected to contract for the first time since 2009, due to the ripple effects of the pandemic. The package includes soft loans for stricken businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Business

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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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bars, massage parlours may be be allowed to reopen in Phase 4

Jack Burton

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Bars, massage parlours may be be allowed to reopen in Phase 4 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: BKK Lifestyle

Drinking at a bar and a massage at some of the country’s larger massage parlour may become possible again in Phase 4 of the lifting of restrictions, originally enacted to contain the spread of Covid-19. Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesman Dr. Taweesilp Wisanuyothin says that such venues are being considered for the fourth phase of reopening, as no local transmissions have been detected in nearly 2 weeks.

No date was given and 17 new cases were confirmed yesterday, but all were imported by Thais returning from abroad. 13 had returned from Kuwait, 2 from Qatar, and 2 from Saudi Arabia. All were brought home under a program to repatriate the thousands of Thais stranded abroad after international arrivals were banned.

Other businesses proposed for reopening included schools, nurseries, science centres, conference rooms, film and TV production, amusement and water parks, national parks, beaches and entertainment venues and events.

As for bars and massage parlours, Dr. Taweesilp suggested they are far from ready to move forward at this stage.

“I have to say I’m worried about these places because of our reports that a lot of masseuses were infected, and there were super-spreader infection cases from bars in foreign countries like South Korea. If you want your businesses to gain permission to reopen as quickly as possible, you have to show us how you’re going to control disease spreading among 200-300 people.”

Dr. Taweesilp has cited the same report of infections spreading from a South Korean bar for a month to argue for the ongoing prohibition of bars and alcohol sales at all restaurants, an important source of revenue in those establishments. Despite permission to reopen, many remain closed as the alcohol ban would make it unprofitable.

As of this morning, limited testing has discovered 3,101 total infections, and the death toll stands at 58.

The government is looking to increase the number of repatriation flights, and recently announced plans to increase the daily number of arrivals from 400 to 500.

SOURCE: Coconuts Bangkok

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