Nok Air (DD, Bangkok Don Mueang) applied for bankruptcy protection on July 30, 2020, with the intention of using the judicial process to restructure its business while continuing operations.

The Thai low-cost carrier said in a stock market filing that as a debtor, it had pursued court-endorsed rehabilitation given the difficult financial circumstances it had found itself in due to the current operating environment.

It underlined that it had no intention "to terminate or liquidate its business" and hoped to continue operations throughout the restructuring process.

While a detailed restructuring plan will only be presented in due course, the airline said that initial steps include the restructuring of its estimated THB18+ billion baht (USD573 million) debt ensuring fair treatment of all creditors, and an operational reorganisation which will focus on the size of its fleet, network, and commercial strategies.

Nok Air named Grant Thornton Specialist Advisory Services, Prinya Waiwatana, Tai Chong Yih, Kasemsant Weerakun, Wutthiphum Jurangkool, and Chavalit Uttasart as its rehabilitation planners. Wutthiphum is the carrier's current Chief Executive Officer.

Nok Air's first hearing has been set for October 27, 2020, where a Bangkok commercial court will then decide, based on the carrier's detailed turnaround plan, whether to allow it to proceed with its restructuring efforts.

Despite the move, Wutthiphum was bullish about the carrier's prospects going forward, telling the Bangkok Post that he planned no layoffs and no fleet reduction. In fact, Nok Air hopes to add a further two B737-800s to its fleet by year-end.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the LCC operates fourteen B737-800s and eight DHC-8-Q400s.

Nok Air is the second Thai airline to file for bankruptcy protection after flag carrier Thai Airways International (TG, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi), which controls a 13.28% stake in the LCC. Nok Air is majority-owned by the Jurangkool family. NokScoot (XW, Bangkok Don Mueang), a 51/49 joint venture between Nok Air and Singapore Airlines Group, was liquidated in late June this year.