Commercial Airlines Registered in Thailand must provide a business recovery plan or run the risk of the civil aviation authority of Thailand (CAAT) halting the allocation of additional routes. According to reports, eight airlines have been targeted.
The 8 airlines on the list from the Civil Aviation Commission (CAC) are Thai Airways, Thai Smile Airways, Nok Air, AirAsia X, VietJet Air, Thai Lion Air, Asia Atlantic Airlines, and City Airways.
Comments by Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchob, indicated that are also three other domestic carriers that will be placed under special monitoring outside of the 8 already mentioned.
The CAC has also instructed the CAAT to work together with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the provision of Covid-19 vaccines to civil aviation personnel who directly handle tourists and air passengers in preparation for resuming international flights.
Thailand’s Central Bankruptcy Court last year, allowed flagship carrier Thai Airways to go ahead with debt restructuring as the airline has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the biggest challenge the airline has ever faced as they defaulted on loans.
Thai Airways was under financial pressure even before the coronavirus outbreak caused passenger numbers to plummet, as low-cost airlines from South-East Asia continued put them under pressure on several routes. In 2019, it reported losses of 12bn baht.
Thai Airways is a state-owned enterprise of the Thai government and is on the verge of liquidation, as the airline is seeking urgent funding. Late last year they put up several aircraft for sale including 10 Boeing 747s and 12 Boeing 777s. The airline has around 80 aircraft and employs 21,500 people. To make matters more difficult, the International Air Transport Association thinks air travel is not expected to return to normal until 2023, which will put further pressure on Thai Airways’ restructuring plans.
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