THAI seeks govt help in keeping foreign creditors at bay


Thai Airways International (THAI) is seeking government support in four areas, ranging from negotiating with foreign creditors to revising contracts previously signed with other state enterprises.

Prapas Kong-led, director general of the State Enterprise Policy Office, said on Thursday (June 4) that the airline is seeking government help after the Central Bankruptcy Court accepted its appeal for rehabilitation. 
THAI also wants the government to look at its time slots in order to boost its competitiveness as well as that of its alliance airlines, said Prapas, who is also secretary of the government committee formed to follow up on the airline’s rehab plan. 
The committee is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who has said that THAI will not fly until the end of this month. 
Prapas said the national carrier wants the government to coordinate negotiations where foreign creditors are concerned, as THAI wants them to accept its rehab plan under Thailand’s Bankruptcy Court. 
The airline also wants the government to help negotiate financial dealings with other state enterprises, such as PTT and the Airports of Thailand. Now that the Finance Ministry has brought its stake in the airline to below 50 per cent, THAI has lost its state-enterprise status and wants to revise contracts it made with state agencies, Prapas said. 
Meanwhile, Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Mananya Thaiset said the 86 savings cooperatives need to find common ground when it comes to the Bt43 billion that THAI owes them. Of the 86 cooperatives, 85 invested in the airline’s debentures and one bought shares.  
The carrier owes a total debt of Bt300 billion, and if the cooperatives do not stick together, they may not get reasonable compensation as foreign creditors may take all of THAI’s assets, the minister warned.