Connect with us


Thai Airways employee union push against forming a new airline

Neill Fronde



FILE PHOTO: Thai Airways employee union argue that saving their airline is the best solution.

Plans to create a new national airline to replace the struggling Thai Airways are meeting oppositions from the employee union. The union insists that Thai Airways is a known brand worldwide and has contributed significantly to the economy of Thailand and deserves aid and rehabilitation.

In the past, Thailand’s flagship international airline spent years as a state-owned property until the Thai Ministry of Finance reduced it’s majority stake to only 47% in 2020. The Finance Minister says that they are not discussing taking over Thai Airways as a government-owned carrier again. So the future of the airline will depend on the current long list of creditors.

Formed in cooperation with Scandinavian Airlines in 1960 to create Thailand’s first international airline, The government eventually bought out SAS. But now the Finance Ministry reduced their ownership in order to make Thai Airways eligible for debt rehabilitation. The airline is now seeking assistance through the Central Bankruptcy Court to help with the over 300 billion baht of debt the airline is currently holding.

The workers union has been pushing the government not to give up on the distressed airline, and to support debt-restructuring in hopes that Thai Airways can surge back after Covid-19 stronger than ever. The union argues that while the industry outlook is still bleak during the pandemic, the airline can still cut operating costs, streamline operations, and focus on profit-generating sectors of the business. Ground services, cargo logistics, and aircraft repair can still generate revenue and help Thai Airways fight to stay afloat.

The union argues that pulling the plug on Thai Airways and forming a new national airline would be counterproductive as the airline industry during the pandemic would not allow a new company to thrive.

The International Air Transport Association has predicted a global loss of about 1.47 trillion baht (US $47.7 billion) for the airline industry this year. This is actually an improvement over last year’s losses of nearly 4 trillion baht (US $126.4 billion) at the global peak of Covid-19 lockdowns. While an estimated 2.4 billion people are expected to fly this year, with government travel restrictions and tight border controls, a further US $81 billion in losses are still predicted for the airline industry.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



  1. Avatar


    Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    Nothing can be as unsafe as a national airline. The only possible worse thing is when govts do things that cause business to lose money which leads to cost cutting which leads to safety issues. Govt is not the solution. It never is. Free markets are the answer to every problem of this world, but govt and media(CIA) will never allow you to think this.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Of course the workers do not want the government to give up on the distressed airline. They want to keep their jobs.
    And as long as Thai Airways are involved in this fake bankruptcy scheme they do not have to pay their debts.
    Meanwhile, the management and the employees pick the Thai Airways corpse clean to the end, and the persons who paid for flights never allowed, receive nothing but insincerity and endless delays.
    These Thais are acting like a gang of bank robbers arguing over the share out of the loot.

  3. Avatar


    Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    10 billion $ in debt?
    Abandon all hope..

  4. Avatar


    Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    ” Free markets are the answer to every problem of this world, but govt and media(CIA) will never allow you to think this.”
    Funny that free market is the answer, but when sh*t hits the fan, like the banking crisis, Covid or any other crisis, gouvernments have to intervene to safe the free market.

  5. Avatar


    Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    The union is a big part of the problem. They’re advocating saving the airline to save union jobs and benefits. Those jobs and benefits have bloated the airline and made it unsalvageable. They can’t compete with the newer low cost airlines so any money put into rehabilitating this airline is good money chasing after bad.

    Ask them if they’re willing to participate in the necessary job cuts and salary and benefit reductions? They answer will be no.

    An example of a bloated benefit is some retirees receive free flight benefits world-wide. Crazy.

  6. Avatar

    James Pate

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 6:50 am

    Thai Airways: Suicide by greed. In addition to greedy labor, greedy management and lack of shareholder (Finance Ministry) oversight played their parts too. Air Asia was the final nail in the already prepared coffin.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Pattaya1 hour ago

Bangkok Hospital Pattaya giving expats free Pfizer vaccines

Thailand1 hour ago

Thailand corruption, Mixed vaccines, Delusions, The muppets | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 42

Technology2 hours ago

Facebook plans a name change and rebrand to a metaverse.

Sponsored4 months ago

Take a trip through Thailand with Sixt Rent a Car

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Covid-19 Wednesday: 79 deaths, infections below 9,000

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Bangkok authorities and hotels prepare for returning travellers

Weather4 hours ago

Korat’s largest hospital now flooded

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Bangkok4 hours ago

GPO selling ATKs at 40 baht at 8 centres and online

Crime4 hours ago

Music teacher in Bangkok arrested for allegedly molesting young schoolboys

Thailand5 hours ago

Refund for Fraud victims, Retirement visa changes, Flood warnings | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 113

Technology5 hours ago

Digital literacy a must for bank card holders after recent cyber fraud incident

Bangkok6 hours ago

93 arrested for alcohol in restaurant across from police station

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | Requirement for health insurance policy for O-A visa | October 20

South6 hours ago

Senior health official says South must move to Pfizer only to tackle Covid-19 outbreak

Expats6 hours ago

Thailand requires 3 million baht insurance for ‘retirement’ visas

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

70% of Bangkok residents fully vaccinated as capital prepares for re-opening

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism8 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11