The Finance Ministry will not recapitalise financially troubled Thai Airways (THAI) of which it is the biggest shareholder, the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO) chief said.
The remark by SEPO director-general Pantip Sripimol comes amid concerns the carrier will regain the status of a state enterprise through the re-acquisition of the ministry’s majority stake in THAI.
The airline lost its state-owned status last year when the ministry decided to reduce its stake to under 50%, to help ease the debt-rehabilitation process.
The ministry holds a 49.9% stake in THAI. She said if the ministry injected more funds into the company, it would be akin to attempting to divert money to “fill up the sea”, a move which be hard to justify to taxpayers.
Now that THAI is operating as a private company, it is no longer entitled to state assistance and the Finance Ministry is under no legal obligation to offer help to a private firm despite the vast shares it owns in the airline.