Mr Piyasvasti yesterday (Nov 15) attributed the turnaround largely to the adoption of the debt-restructuring plan which involves the sale of its assets and a workforce revamp, among other measures, reports the Bangkok Post.
He said the company has solid financial security with sufficient cash flow to sustain its operations until a fresh loan is procured. The loan will be vital for keeping up the pace of the restructuring.
The airline was waiting to see if the Finance Ministry, which is one of the airline’s large shareholders, will come to the financial support of the company.
Last week, Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said the airline may need a loan of only B25bn to boost its financial liquidity, instead of an initially estimated B50bn.
The minister said the company will make a decision on the borrowing method and there will be no need for the Finance Ministry to guarantee the loan.
Yesterday, Mr Piyasvasti said without the ministry guaranteeing the loan, the airline has a few options at its disposal. One is to convert debt into equity worth B13bn.
Without the conversion and with no loan guarantee, the ministry’s shares in the company will be drastically reduced from 48% at present to 8%.
Mr Piyasvasti said THAI was performing reasonably well so far. Last month, its revenue from passenger and cargo transport amounted to B1.2bn, of which 90% was generated by cargo traffic.
It was the airline’s highest monthly earning since the pandemic struck the country early last year.
The reopening of the country’s tourism industry has pushed up passenger demand.
The first 10 days of reopening on Nov 1 saw international passengers rising to 750 a day, up from 300 a day prior to Nov 1. He expected THAI to earn at least B50bn in revenue next year if there are no more serious outbreaks of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association’s latest survey of airlines CFOs and Heads of Cargo, conducted in early October, shows improvements in airline profitability continued in the third quarter.
Respondents were also optimistic about profits in the next 12 months, indicating that improvements in the bottom line may extend further.
A large majority of respondents reported improving passenger and cargo volumes in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, and they also expect this to continue on both sides of the business for the coming 12 months.