Thai Government Reduces Stake In Thai Airways

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The Thai Government has reduced its stake in the national carrier, THAI Airways— by selling off its 3.2% stake, according to the latest filing listed with the SEC on Friday.

Saksayam Chidchob, Thailand’s transport minister clarifies: “The Cabinet agreed the government will reduce its holding in Thai Airways to under 50 percent, ending the airline’s status as a state enterprise.”

The stake of 69.2 million shares was, however, sold to the Vayupak 1 mutual fund run by Krung Thai Bank. The government’s stake is now 47.86%, ending THAI Airway’s days as a majority-owned state enterprise.

At the moment, THAI Airways has suspended all international flying, but it’s still running some limited domestic flights.  More so, With no substantial relief on the horizon, the Thai Government says it’s beginning to restructure the airline while under formal bankruptcy protection.

“Today I had to make a very difficult decision regarding THAI. But it is one that I know is in the best interests of the public and of our country.” Thailand’s prime minister, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, says  last week’s decision was difficult but necessary.

According to him, there were only three choices — keep funding the airline, let it go bankrupt, or sent it into a formal restructuring process. The Thai Government had to  settled for the third choice.

Second Vice-Chairman and Acting President of THAI, Chakkrit Parapuntakul, noted, the airline will keep operating as per normal. However, “normal” right now consists of very limited domestic flights, charter flights, and cargo flights. International flying into Thailand remains suspended until June 30.

THAI Airways says it plans to do everything it can, to guarantee it comes out of the restructuring process a stronger and more sustainable entity.

As part of the restructuring process, there are several reports that 6,000 of THAI’s 21,000 current employees will be permanently laid off. They will receive 10 months salary as compensation. The majority of these employees are currently furloughed.

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