The troubled Thai low-cost carrier Nok Airlines received a green light from Thailand’s Central Bankruptcy Court over its rehabilitation plan, following which the airline seeks to change the business strategy in the coming weeks as Thailand is due to enter the peak of tourism season.
On September 30, 2021, the chief executive officer of Nok Airlines Wutthiphum Jurangkool confirmed to the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) that the local court approved its rehabilitation plan, which will be used to reorganize its business. The rehabilitation plan has been already approved by Nok Airlines creditors in August 2021.
“The company is certain that plans will be implemented successfully soon,” Wutthiphum Jurangkool was quoted saying by the local media outlet.
Nok Airlines hopes that the freshly approved plan will help the ailing company to recover from the severed COVID-19 virus impact on the aviation industry in the region. The upcoming tourism season, which is expected to reach its peak in Q4 2021, may play a key role in the airline‘s rebound process, the CEO noted. Following the rehabilitation plan, Nok Airlines will start operating the boosted flight schedule from October 15, 2021, while trying to catch the flow of seasonal travelers.
However, due to now-still-in place air travel restrictions, the exact carrier‘s performance may be lower than it is currently estimated. In the meantime, the head of the airline believes that the demand for air travel in the region will probably recover by 2022 when travelers from China will be able to enter Thailand under eased travel restrictions.
The embattled Nok Airlines filed for bankruptcy on July 30, 2020, as the ongoing pandemic worsened conditions for the already struggling carrier, which has been continuously making losses since 2014. The company ended 2020 with an approximate operating loss of around $218 million. The unfilled airline’s liabilities exceed assets by almost $479 million with a capital deficiency of over $236,5 million. Currently, due to negative equity, Nok Airlines stocks are suspended from trading.