State-owned carrier Thai Airways is on the verge of collapsing, becoming the first carrier to go bankrupt due to the coronavirus pandemic, the media reported.
Thai Airways is running out of its cash reserves, which reportedly, will last the carrier for one more month and is in the desperate need for a bailout package.
The carrier has requested a bailout package of around ฿70 billion from the government, according to media reports. The Thai finance ministry will play the role of a guarantor.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak told the media, “I still would like to see Thai Airways as the national flag carrier because that is the way things have been for a long time.”
Recently, a meeting was held with regard to the future of Thai Airways and the meeting was attended by officials from the Finance Ministry and Transport Ministry, as well as representatives of state-owned oil company PTT and other private Thai conglomerates such as food processing and telecoms group Charoen Pokphand, retail collective Central Group, and beverage and real estate outfit TCC Group.
The fate of the airline could be decided on another meeting which is scheduled to take place on April 28th, 2020.
Local media houses reported that Airports of Thailand (AOT), which runs six international airports in the country, will invest in the state-owned carrier. However, in a statement, AOT has clarified that the media reports are not true.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced all aviation companies to suspend operations, including Thai Airways. According to the International Air Transport Association, (IATA) the global aviation industry could lose revenue in hundred of billions due to the pandemic.