Thai AirAsia X bankruptcy filing accepted by court

ByDonald L. Leech

May 19, 2022

Thai AirAsia X bankruptcy filing accepted by court

All pre-reserved seats will be honored

A file photo shows a Thai AirAsia X A330-300 jet taking off from Don Mueang Airport.

After more than two years without passenger flights, Thai AirAsia X (TAAX) has filed for bankruptcy protection, with the case being accepted by a Thai bankruptcy court on Wednesday.

The airline has insisted that all pre-booked seats will be honoured, including international routes to Japan and South Korea from June.

TAAX, the long-haul low-cost airline of the AirAsia group, has become the third Thai airline to file for bankruptcy, after Thai Airways and Nok Air, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It was difficult to raise funds because the airline had a large debt. A court-approved rehabilitation plan in the next stage will be a viable solution to maintain operations in the long term,” said Tassapon Bijleveld, director of TAAX.

He said the airline had been considering this option for a long time, but as the long-haul carrier grounded its entire fleet for more than two years without any international flights, it was impractical to start the process properly. rehabilitation.

However, after many countries lifted border controls and eased travel restrictions, TAAX can implement the business plan, especially the expansion of flights.

Mr Tassapon, who is also TAAX’s largest shareholder, said that before the pandemic the airline had 12 wide-bodied aircraft, but as it could not operate flights for two years it had to cut costs operational by reducing its fleet to eight. jets.

He said more than 1,000 TAAX employees would not be affected immediately as the company has to wait and see how the rehabilitation plan develops in the next stage.

If the restructuring process forces the airline to cut those expenses, it should follow orders, Tassapon said.

“We hope the rehabilitation process will be completed within 8-12 months and will have minimal impact during the transition period. During this time, all flight expansion will remain the same as announced,” he said. declared.

TAAX filed the petition with the court on May 17 and it was accepted on May 18.

Once the court grants its order for TAAX to enter the rehabilitation process, it will prepare a rehabilitation plan to strengthen its financial position and ensure services at full capacity, Tassapon said.

In the company’s statement, it said the rehabilitation plan will have no impact on Thai AirAsia and Asia Aviation Plc, which are separate entities with separate operations and routes.

He said TAAX’s rehabilitation process follows Malaysia’s Airasia X, which completed its debt restructuring process in March.