Thai Airways tailfin. Credit TwentyFour Students on flickr
Thai Airways have now submitted their Debt Rehabilitation Plan as they attempt to fight off bankruptcy and it includes reductions in their fleet and staffing levels.
The embattled airline has confirmed that it is planning, by 2025, to cut its workforce by 50% to between 13,000 and 15,000, will reduce its fleet size from 103 to 86 aircraft and reduce the types of aircraft it flies from 12 to 5.
Last May Thai Airways filed for business rehabilitation with 332.2 billion Baht (approx. £8.2 billion, $10.6 billion) of liabilities at the end of June.
The plans are designed to enable the Thai national carrier to become a more agile and efficient airline. It is hoped that these plans alongside the renegotiation of aircraft leases will save the airline 52 billion baht (approx £1.2 billion / US$1.7 billion) by 2022.
In 2019 Thai had 28,000 employees which has already been reduced to around 19,500, with another 6,000 expected to leave before the end of 2021. Earlier this month Thai announced that they would be laying off 395 pilots, leaving just over 900 pilots, and then on 19th February they announced that it has cut around 240 executive positions.
Creditors are expected to meet on 12th May to decide if they will approve the plan and, if so, it will then go to the Thai Central Bankruptcy Court which will make a final decision around June or July this year.
Unions Unhappy With Plans
Part of the rehabilitation plan includes changes to employee contracts that would see them facing a reduction in their vacation time and the number of leave days to which they are entitled.
Unions are reported to be unhappy that they have not been consulted and that there were fears that employees were being warned that their jobs would be at risk if they did not sign the new contracts (Simple Flying).
The reports state that some long-serving employees could see the number of public holidays that they are entitled to reducing to 13 days a year from 17 and personal leave days from 24 to just 6 per year.
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