Three Thai airlines devising fundraising

Nok Air chief executive officer Wutthiphum Jurangkool said he has every confidence the airline will exit the rehabilitation plan within two years or in 2026. — Bloomberg

BANGKOK: Nok Air, Thai AirAsia X and Thai Airways International (THAI) have come up with fundraising plans to exit rehabilitation now that business performance has greatly improved thanks to the tourism recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nok Air chief executive officer Wutthiphum Jurangkool told Nation Group media arm Thansettakij that he has every confidence the airline will exit the rehabilitation plan within two years or in 2026.

He said the rehabilitation was progressing smoothly, citing negotiations on aircraft rental contracts, increasing aircraft utilisation rate and generating revenue from new services like an airport lounge and air cargo.

“These efforts resulted in Nok Air seeing a profit for the first time in nine years,” he said.

He added that the airline has been granted a loan of no more than two billion baht for boosting its liquidity on aircraft maintenance.

Wutthiphum said the airline aims to open new international flight routes in the fourth quarter this year, and increase aircraft utilisation rate from 12 hours a day to 13 hours a day by the end of this year.

“Nok Air will schedule flights to Mumbai and Hyderabad on October 27,” he said.

He added that this move came after the airline received the right to operate 2,000 flights per week between Thailand and India.

He said the airline will open flights from Don Mueang Airport to Nanjing on July 9, followed by Don Mueang-Krabi on August 2.

Thai AirAsia X CEO Tassapon Bijleveld said the airline aims to conduct fundraising of one billion baht in a bid to exit its rehabilitation plan this year.

The airline is considering whether the fundraising will take the form of a stock offering to existing shareholders or new investors, he said.

He said it has planned to add another four aircraft to the fleet this year, making a total of 11 aircraft.

This move aims to increase the number of flights and expand flight routes, he added.

“Thai AirAsia X has prepared to reopen direct flights from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi Airport) to Japan’s Nagoya from Aug 1 onwards,” he said. — The Nation/ANN

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