Thai Airways denies reports of 395 pilot layoffs

Thailand’s national carrier Thai Airways reportedly dismissed the report referring to 395 pilot layoffs, after news about the airline’s redundancies and multiple aircraft retirement emerged.

On February 8, 2021, Thai local media outlet Nation Thailand reported about Thai Airways’ plan to lay off 395 pilots as well as retire three types of aircraft in its fleet, as part of its rehabilitation plan.

On the same day, the Corporate and Image Communication Department of Thai Airways dismissed the report that the airline would lay off 395 pilots, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported

The airline reportedly admitted that the workforce reduction was being reconsidered while planning the airline’s restructuring. However, such reconsiderations are yet to be finalized and proposed to the Central Bankruptcy Court.

“Reduction in the workforce and the restructuring of the organization and fleet of the airline would be clear when it proposes its rehabilitation plan to the Central Bankruptcy Court either later this month or early next month,” Thai Airways told TNA.

The airline is currently under financial rehabilitation process approved by the Central Bankruptcy Court on September 14, 2020. The Court granted Thai Airways business reorganization petition and appointed the planners who were expected to submit the plan to the Court within the fourth quarter of 2020.

However, Thai Airways has already pushed back the deadline for submitting its rehabilitation plan for multiple times. The first time, the flag-carrier asked to postpone the submission until February 2, 2021. However, following the airline’s second request, the Court extended the deadline until March 2, 2021.

On January 26, 2021, Thai Airways revealed the progress of the airline’s restructuring plan, which involved increasing revenue, cost reductions and preparation for future sustainable operations, including capital restructuring and debt repayment to all creditors.

“As of now, THAI has partially proceeded with the work plan such as granting voluntary leave without pay and making sacrifices for the organization projects in order to decrease the Company’s hiring expenses,” Thai Airways statement reads.

According to rehabilitation law, Thai Airways must fully implement the rehabilitation plan in five years once it is submitted and approved by the Court.

Thai Airways is facing a financial crisis due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The airline reported a net loss of 28 billion baht ($927 million) in the first half of 2020. The third quarter of 2020 showed a net loss of 21.53 billion baht ($713 million), according to Thai Airways financial statements.

AeroTime News reached out to Thai Airways for comment and did not receive any answer at the time of publication.

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