Thailand’s government has stepped in to approve a restructuring of debts at loss-making Thai Airways International.

The business re-organisation will enable the carrier to continue to operate flights, although the Covid-19 pandemic has grounded all international services until the end of June.

The ailing airline had previously asked for a government bail-out via a 58.1 billion baht (£1.48 billion) loan as it teetered on the edge of bankruptcy.

The airline is 51% owned by the Thai government and overseen by its State Enterprise Policy Committee.

Thailand’s prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, said: “The government has reviewed all dimensions… we have decided to petition for restructuring and not let Thai Airways go bankrupt. The airline will continue to operate.”

Announcing he government intervention, acting president Chakkrit Parapuntakul said: “Although Thai’s reform plan will be implemented and exercised through the business reorganisation chapter under the bankruptcy law, Tai will not be dissolved or go into liquidation or to be declared bankrupt.

“On the contrary, the business reorganisation chapter will enable Thai to reach its reform plan’s objectives even more effectively step by step as required by the law.”

This provides “equitable protection to all relevant stakeholders” while the carrier will be able to conduct its normal business operations including passenger and cargo transportation.

“The business will be conducted in parallel with the reform plan to increase operational efficiency and improve product and service quality,” he added.

“Thai is committed to do everything possible to emerge from the crisis situation.

“This is an important step for Thai to change in order to become a stronger and more sustainable entity.

“Thai will resume full operations once the Covid-19 situation subsides.”

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