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Thai Airways seeks to conserve finances by offering unpaid leave, early retirement

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: KN Aviation

Thailand’s long-suffering national carrier is trying to conserve what cash it has by offering staff early retirement or unpaid leave. Thai Airways says it’s seeking to reduce its workforce in an attempt to stretch its finances to April 2021.

According to a Bangkok Post report, acting president Chansin Treenuchagron says 80% of the airline’s employees have agreed to salary cuts and unpaid leave, adding that their support means the company can survive until the end of the year. However, he points out that, without taking further steps, the airline is unlikely to survive 2021, particularly with the Covid-19 pandemic showing no signs of abating.

The airline has briefed staff on current finances and the progress being made in settling its extensive debts, as well as explaining new policies on furloughing staff and introducing early retirement. It’s understood some workers are prepared to take early retirement provided they are adequately compensated for doing so. Chansin says union officials have been consulted and appear open to the plans.

Employees who want to take early retirement in the next round need to apply between October 15 and 30. Those who are approved will be in line for severance pay of between 2 and 14.33 months, based on Thailand’s employment law, in addition to other benefits from the airline. It’s understood the furlough scheme will take place from November 1 to April 30.

Meanwhile, some union members arrived at the meeting wearing black, in protest at the recent promotion of a number of airline executives, including the spouse of the chairman of the board of directors, at a time when the carrier is struggling for survival.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    A dishonest way of firing staff.

  2. Avatar


    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    This puts Thai Airways about six months behind Singapore Airlines, who did this about six months ago. Airlines must look to find ways to find the most appropriate ways to reduce costs. Any airline who hasn’t done this,won’t survive. QANTAS also did this months ago as did so many other airlines. Perhaps the slowness of Thai Airways to do this is the reason the airline finds itself in the current predicament.

  3. Avatar


    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    As an airline, Thai Airways has a great value proposition. People gong to Thailand for a holiday, feel like the holiday has started, the moment they get on the plane. It is not the staff (Aircrew or groundstaff) who have contributed to the downfall of Thai Airways. It is airline mismanagement and government interference that has created the downfall. Thai Airways can be a very successful airline.

  4. Avatar


    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    “Offering” unpaid leave. Wow! how generous can you get?

  5. Avatar


    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Confiscate Thai airways planes in countries where it owes money Get tough !

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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