Thai Airways International (THAI) will not cease operations for four months at the end of May as has been suggested on social media according to the airline’s Executive Vice President of Operations, Soradej Namruangsri.
The state airline has been the subject of speculation since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic with the carrier posting severe losses in the past three years before the virus further damaged the company’s finances.
The airline intends to resume international flights as soon as the covid-19 situation improves and will not be suspending services for another four months after the current flight ban expires.
However, the airline will need to borrow state money to survive and is considering bringing in specialized leaders to manage the situation.
The Finance Ministry will guarantee a loan for Thailand’s flagship airline to help it maintain its position as the national airline and as a state enterprise.
However, the Finance Ministry is not supposed to guarantee loans for state enterprises that have posted losses for the years running. Thai Airways posted a 2.11 billion baht loss in 2017, 11.6 billion baht loss in 2018, and a 12 billion baht loss last year.
With exceptional circumstances surrounding the coronavirus situation, the state airline may become an exception, but the Finance Ministry is sure to implement strict guidelines if a loan is guaranteed.