NokScoot Joins Thai Airlines Asking For $736M Loan
The Thai government is reported to be evaluating a request for THB24.15 billion ($736 million) in financial aid submitted by eight local airlines that have seen their businesses decimated by the COVID-19 crisis.
Initially, the coalition comprised seven airlines: Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsia X, Thai Lion Air, Thai Smile and Thai Vietjet Air. NokScoot has now joined the group.
The proposed loans are reported to be as follows: THB4.5 billion for Thai AirAsia; THB4 billion for Nok Air; THB3.75 billion for Thai Lion Air; THB3.5 billion for NokScoot; THB3 billion for Bangkok Airways; THB3 billion for Thai AirAsia X; THB1.5 billion for Thai Smile; and THB900 million for Thai Vietjet Air.
According to Thai news outlet The Nation, the airlines are asking the government to distribute 25% of the loan package by the end of April to enable them to keep all their staff on. Under the coalition’s plan the repayments would start from January 2021 at an interest rate of 2%, the report said.
Meanwhile, a government-led committee is finalizing the planned capital injection, which is expected to come this week, for flag-carrier Thai Airways.
Scheduled flights in Thailand have ceased and the grounding is expected to be extended further. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has pushed back the ban on passenger flights to April 30; this was initially slated to be lifted on April 18. Thai AirAsia has announced it will begin domestic flights on May 1 subject to government approvals.