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Airbus calls in THAI debts for 30 rented jets

May 20. 2020
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By The Nation

Airbus has notified Thai Airways International (THAI) of debts it owes on 30 rented aircraft, as the national carrier struggles to formulate a plan for financial recovery.

Deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senneam said that THAI’s debts were checked on May 15, when documents showed that Airbus is trying to collect debts for rental of 30 airplanes as the due date draws close.

He added that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered THAI’s rehabilitation via the bankruptcy law rather than the State Enterprise Policy Office’s plan for a Bt54.7-billion loan guaranteed by the government because the private sector holds 31 per cent of THAI shares.

Had the government supported THAI’s rehabilitation, it would have violated the new State Fiscal and Financial Disciplines Act.

The government had supported THAI for five years but failed to solve the carrier’s financial issues, so the bankruptcy procedure was now the best option, Thaworn said.

After the Finance Ministry sells its majority stake in the shareholding, THAI will no longer be a state enterprise and would be easier to handle, he said.

The recovery plan must also be filed with the US bankruptcy court to prevent American creditors from taking back all the planes or collecting THAI’s assets.

The 53 Airbus aircraft loaned to THAI comprise six Airbus A380-800, 12 A350-900s, 15 A330-300s and 20 A320-200s.

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