Thai AirAsia X (XJ, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi) filed for bankruptcy protection on May 17, 2022, but vowed to continue operations and restart services to Japan and South Korea as planned in June 2022.

The Thai Central Bankruptcy Court admitted the carrier's plea on May 18.

"Thai AirAsia X has entered into rehabilitation at an appropriate time with tourism recovering and the nation reopening. We assure that this process will have no impact on our passenger services or flight plans. Passengers who have already booked or are looking to book our flights will be able to fly to South Korea and Japan starting this June 2022. Thai AirAsia X also has further plans for expansion and will be adding flight frequencies and new routes in line with demand," Chief Executive Patima Jeerapaet said.

The filing does not affect Thai AirAsia (FD, Bangkok Don Mueang) or parent company Asia Aviation.

The restructuring will allow the long-haul low-cost carrier to better manage the debt it accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Thailand remained almost completely closed to international travel from March 2020 to November 2021 and only gradually opened albeit with restrictions thereafter, the carrier's operations were limited to cargo-only charters and a limited number of repatriation charters.

The carrier plans to restart scheduled passenger flights on June 1, flying from its new base at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (as opposed to Bangkok Don Mueang before the pandemic) to Seoul Incheon and Tokyo Narita. The ch-aviation schedules module shows that its subsequent plans foresee the relaunch of services to Osaka Kansai and Sapporo Chitose in October 2022.

Under Thai law, the carrier will now prepare a restructuring plan that will be subject to the approval of its creditors and the Central Bankruptcy Court (although the court routinely follows the decision of the creditors). The court will hold the first hearing on August 22, 2022. Thai AirAsia X is a 51/49 joint venture between Asia Aviation, the parent company of Thai AirAsia and AirAsia X (D7, Kuala Lumpur Int'l). It operates six A330-200s and two inactive A330-900s.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Thai Airways International and Nok Air also underwent separate business restructuring processes.