The troubling situation for Thai Airways International Plc continues to worsen as the Finance Ministry looks to sell 3.17 percent of its stake, stripping the airline of its state enterprise status.
Finance Minister, Uttama Savanayana, said that the shares will be sold to the state-run Vayupak 1 Fund as soon as possible and could exchange hands at a below-market rate.
The decision for Thai Airways to enter bankruptcy consolidation was made following a rejection of the planned bailout of the airline by the Thai Government and Finance Ministry.
Since then, shares in Thai Airways International Plc have plummeted and the airline announced further flight suspensions with refunds and coupons offered to customers who hold airline tickets.
The Finance Ministry currently owns a majority 51.03 percent of Thai Airways shares, however, the planned sale will take the ministry’s stake in the airline below 50 percent.
The shares are expected to sell at between 600 million and 700 million baht and are seen as a crucial step in the rehabilitation plan to convert the airline into a private company.
However, Thai Airway’s Labor Union initially said it opposed the plan to drop the Finance Ministry’s stake in the airline below 50 percent as it will result in the union being dissolved before reversing its stance hours later.
Regardless, the ministry will push ahead with the plan as Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchob, has given a free hand in selecting up to 30 rehabilitation planners.
Once the list has been finalized, it will be sent to Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, and then forwarded to the Central Bankruptcy Court.
It is estimated that approximately 6,000 of the 21,000 employees of Thai Airways will be laid off under the bankruptcy plan with compensation packages of approximately 10 months’ salary being prepared for those who lose their jobs.
Source: Bangkok Post