Thai Airways loses state enterprise status after stake sell-off hinh anh 1A Thai Airways International plane leaves Suvarnabhumi airport. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Bangkok (VNA) -
Thai Airways International (THAI) has lost its state enterprise status after the Vayupak 1 Fund bought a 3.17 percent stake from the Finance Ministry of Thailand.

The stake purchase was undertaken at a price of four THB per share, a source at the fund said. The purchase cut the Finance Ministry's holding in the national carrier to 48 pertcent, immediately stripping the carrier of its state enterprise status.

The Vayupak 1 Fund has the status of a juristic person, not a state enterprise, even though it was established by a 2003 cabinet resolution, said the source.

A source at the Finance Ministry said the airline will now submit its application to the Central Bankruptcy Court for rehabilitation under the bankruptcy law, with THAI proposing itself as the rehab planner.

That process needs to be done as soon as possible, otherwise creditors may submit themselves to the court as planners, said the source.
Meanwhile, the Finance and Transport ministries will jointly set up a "superboard," a new panel to monitor the rehabilitation plan for the carrier.

The board will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who oversees the government's legal affairs.

Once among the state-owned enterprises gaining profits in Thailand, THAI now has outstanding debts worth 200 billion THB (6.2 billion USD), 30 percent of which is domestically owned. The national flag carrier reported a net loss of 2.11 billion THB in 2017, and this figure increased to 11.6 billion THB in 2018 and 12 billion THB in 2019. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, THAI has been forced to cease operations until the end of May./.