Thailand’s national carrier, Thai Airways International PCL (Thai Airways), has decided to enter rehabilitation, making it the latest victim of the tourism decline brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This act of rehabilitation under Thai Law is akin to a business filing for Chapter 11 in the US. As per Thai law, submission to rehabilitation means that its government will determine the best course of action to facilitate a recovery for the entity.
Thai Airways’ decision to enter rehabilitation wasn’t actually its first choice. Prior to this, the Thai government initially offered a rescue bailout to the national carrier to the sum of 58.1 billion baht (~RM7.9 billion). To be fair, its cash flow woes had begun way before the pandemic kicked in. The airline has reported losses every year since 2012, with the exception of 2016, when it actually got back in the black. Last year, the company has a reported loss of 12.05 billion baht (~RM1.64 billion).
Needless to say, Thai Airways isn’t the casualty of COVID-19. Across the board, the pandemic has grounded tourism to a screeching halt, wiping out close to 95% of all Earlier in March, Singapore’s national carrier, Singapore Airlines (SIA) received a S$19 billion (~RM58.3 billion) after begging its government for a bailout.