Govt to help seven airlines with 24 billion baht soft loans

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha offered 24 billion baht in soft loans to 7 low-cost airlines. (Photo: Pattaya Mail)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has pledged to offer 24 billion baht in soft loans to seven low-cost airlines by October during a meeting with airline executives yesterday.

The prime minister said he was worried about the airline operators regarding liquidity to maintain employment of their employees.

Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, Thai AirAsia, Thai AirAsiaX, Thai Lion Air, THAI Smile Airways and Thai Vietjet were granted the loan so the carriers could remain afloat in the aviation business for at least another year.

THAI Air AsiaX (Photo: Retail News Asia)

A government spokesman said after the meeting that the 7 airlines responded to the government’s request to retain their roughly 20,000 staff through the Covid crisis, despite that their business is limited by travel restrictions and a near-total ban on foreign tourists.

After meeting with the prime minister, Thai AirAsia chairman Tassapon Bijleveld said that besides asking for allocation of soft loans, local airlines asked for extension of the excise tax cut for jet fuel and reduction of airline operation fees such as includes parking and landing charges.