Pattaya Daily News

19 January 2009 :: 19:01:49 pm 24640

Thai to borrow BT29 Billion from local financial institutions

BANGKOK, Jan 19 -- The country's national airline, Thai Airways International (THAI), is planning long-term borrowing of Bt29 billion from local financial institutions, according to Surachai Tansitpong, Permanent Secretary for Transport.
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The eight-day closure of Suvarnabhumi international airport in late November and early December last year by demonstrators combined with a relentless global economic recession had affected THAI’s revenues, according to Mr. Surachai.

Liquidity of the airline became further depressed as tourism during the ongoing peak season has tumbled 20-30 per cent, he said.

This year, THAI must borrow Bt29 billion on a long-term basis to refinance its short-term loans which have matured, Mr. Surachai said. The planned loan could be made at the state-operated Krung Thai Bank, the Government Savings Bank or the Islamic Bank of Thailand.

Of the total planned borrowing, THAI board has already approved borrowing Bt10 billion while approval of the balance will be sought later, he said.

In an attempt to lower the airline’s overhead, especially for board meetings and bonuses which amount to around Bt12 million annually, Mr. Surachai said THAI is ready to cut benefits to keep its operations afloat.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Sopon Zarum said he had not yet decided or proposed to the government to change the entire board, although he is considering such action as THAI which is not making money.

However, if any board member feels unable to achieve the government’s target, a resignation would be welcome, he said. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Tourism News

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