Coronavirus: Thai Airways steps closer to restructuring in bankruptcy court

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BANGKOK (BLOOMBERG) – Flag carrier Thai Airways International is a step closer to restructuring via a bankruptcy court after a key government panel backed the plan, which is due for consideration by the Cabinet on Tuesday.

A committee that oversees policies for state-run enterprises agreed that the airline should seek such a rehabilitation, government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat told reporters in Bangkok on Monday (May 18).

Governments worldwide have devoted more than US$85 billion (S$121 billion) to propping up airlines after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out travel demand and grounded fleets. Thailand's borders are restricted under a state of emergency through May and most inbound international flights are banned until the end of June, though some domestic flights have restarted.

Thai Airways, majority owned by the Finance Ministry, has outstanding debt of about 92 billion baht (S$4.09 billion), of which approximately 78 per cent is owed to bond investors, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Tris Rating Co, which is partly owned by S&P Global Ratings, said in a statement that the fact officials are considering filing for bankruptcy restructuring "has eroded our confidence that necessary actions from the government will be taken to enable THAI to meet all of its obligations in a timely manner."

Tris Rating has downgraded its rating on Thai Airways and the carrier's senior unsecured bonds to BBB from A.

"Holders of Thai Airways' bonds are watching closely for details of its rehabilitation plan," Thiti Tantikulanan, senior executive viRead More – Source