Thai Airways employees accept early retirement

The latest announcement by comes as the ailing airline continues to struggle against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By: | November 2, 2020

Almost 5,000 Thai Airways International employees have signed up for the company’s early retirement programme, which will see them receiving severance packages equivalent to between 2-14.33 months of pay, depending on their position.

Last month, Thai Airways announced that 19,000 employees had agreed to pay cuts or go on unpaid leave, while the airline’s furlough programme will continue to run 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021.

Despite these measures, the airline had previously said that it only has enough financial reserves to last until December this year. As of the end of June, the company’s debts stood at 332.3 billion baht (US$106 billion).

READ: Thai Airways employees up in arms over benefit cuts

According to Thai Airways’ acting president, Chansin Treenuchagron, the early retirement programme has allowed the company to meet its workforce reduction target, and will help the airline stay in business.

The next step, he added, is to come up with a payout plan, as Thai Airways does not have much cash reserves and is unable to take out loans.

These moves by Thai Airways come as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) continues to call on governments to roll out relief measures to allow financially stressed airlines to survive and avoid mass retrenchment.