THAI tries to soothe anxious customers


Thai Airways International airplanes sit on the tarmac at Suvarnabhumi airport.
Thai Airways International airplanes sit on the tarmac at Suvarnabhumi airport.

Thai Airways International (THAI) on Monday moved to allay concerns among its customers after they began receiving a notice from the Central Bankruptcy Court, which is scheduled to hear the debt-ridden national carrier’s rehabilitation plan in August.

THAI said in a statement that the notice was part of the court process now that the airline has entered the pre-debt rehabilitation phase. It said it is attempting to convince creditors, who include customers, the rehabilitation plan would work.

THAI insisted that ticket holders wanting a refund and Royal Orchid Plus members do not need to file debt-negotiation petitions with the court.

“The company is committed to safeguarding the benefits and retaining the privileges for our customers as soon as [THAI] can resume operations under the rehabilitation plan,” it said.

It was reported that THAI could need up to six months to provide refunds to customers due to court proceedings and obligations under the Bankruptcy Law.

Customers with issues were reportedly offered remedial options such as travel date postponements with no extra charge, ticket validity extension and travel vouchers.

THAI has outstanding debts totalling 244.9 billion baht, 30% of which are owed domestically.

Meanwhile, Samart Ratchapolsitte, deputy Democrat leader and a transport management expert, on Monday called on THAI to revamp its company benefits programme for senior executives.

Mr Samart targeted the transportation allowances of members of THAI’s senior management team. He shared details of their salaries and travel allowances on his Facebook page.

He noted that despite receiving travel allowances, THAI senior executives still use company cars and resources.

According to Mr Samart, the monthly transportation allowances of THAI vice presidents and senior vice presidents are 70,000 baht, while executive vice presidents receive 75,000.

He noted that these allowances are on top of their salaries which range from 240,000 baht to 700,000 baht.

“Travel allowances can be given as part of benefits packages, but they must be fair to all staff in the entire organisation,” Mr Samart said.


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