The Thai government is considering restructuring Thai Airways International (TG, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi) through bankruptcy proceedings akin to US Chapter 11 rules after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha reportedly okayed the proposal, the Bangkok Post has reported.

Prayut, Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who oversees the Transport Ministry, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, and Deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senneam, who is directly responsible for the flag carrier, reportedly reached an agreement about the way forward for the airline during a meeting on May 15. Anutin told media that the government had a plan, although no formal documents have been drawn up so far.

Under bankruptcy restructuring procedures, Thai would be managed by court-appointed administrators and would be protected from creditors' claims.

Anutin underlined that any plan would first have to be confirmed by the cabinet and then by shareholders. The latter requirement is, however, largely moot, as the Thai government holds a 51% stake in the airline through the Ministry of Finance, with the remaining 49% listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana, who did not attend the meeting due to other commitments, said the final plan was expected to be approved and announced during the coming days.

The Thai flag carrier had been struggling financially before the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it even deeper in the red as all international traffic to the country and most of the domestic traffic were halted. The government said earlier that while it was ready to throw a lifeline to Thai, it would be the last time it would do so and would be conditional on a deep restructuring of the airline.

Thai PBS said that the airline's debt currently stands at THB244 billion bahts (USD7.6 billion), with almost 10% of this sum due by the end of this year. Thai is seeking at least THB54 billion (USD1.7 billion) in bailout funding.