PM insists THAI adheres to a viable rehabilitation plan

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha / ©asiatimes.com

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today that the only way for Thai Airways International (THAI) to survive its financial crisis is to enter and stick to an effective rehabilitation program, which will require the full cooperation of its management and staff.

The rehabilitation plan, drawn up by the State Enterprise Policy Committee, is now with the Transport Ministry and is yet to be considered by the Cabinet.

While insisting that he has no vested interest in THAI, the Prime Minister said that he had to look into the problem of the financially-strapped national flag carrier because it employs about 20,000 people and they will be in trouble if nothing is done to solve the problem.

He said, however, that THAI had not fully complied with rehabilitation plans before but, this time, it is the airline’s only hope if it is to avoid going under.

Regarding THAI’s plan to seek a 50 billion baht loan, guaranteed by the Finance Ministry, its biggest shareholder, the Prime Minister said that the matter has not yet been considered by the Cabinet, noting that he has to listen the views of other stakeholders, especially the public.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, meanwhile, said that he has reminded THAI’s management that, in addition to the rehabilitation plan, they must develop a clear and achievable revenue plan, taking into account the “new normal” in the aviation sector.

He stressed that the rehabilitation plan must be free of risk, to ensure that the 50 billion baht state backed loan will address the airline’s liquidity problem without wasting the taxpayers’ money.

The Minister added that the Cabinet will consider whether the rehabilitation plan is viable and, if not, a new solution will have to be found.

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