ARC NEWS
Thai Airways details progress of business rehabilitation
December 31, 2021
Thai Airways International as of 15 November reached an agreement with lessors for 12 aircraft on operating or finance leases and remains in negotiations for another 45 aircraft. This was disclosed in the airline's quarterly update of its business rehabilitation process, released on 30 December for the period of 15 September to 14 December. Thailand's Central Bankruptcy Court approved Thai Airways for business rehabilitation on 14 September 2020. The negotiation – with 'Class 35 Creditors', to which the airline is bound by aircraft operating or finance leases – relates to the portion of debt payable which Thai Airways' plan administrator considers as debt incurred after this date. Thai Airways' business rehabilitation plan, approved by the court on 15 June 2021, stated that it owed Class 35 Creditors Bt191.5 billion ($5.7 billion) in outstanding rent under aircraft operating or finance lease agreements, and other debt payable upon the termination of these lease agreements. The same document stated that Thai Airways takes the view that such debts will incur only after 14 September 2020, and creditors may enter into amended agreements with the airline. If the parties fail to come to an agreement, this group of creditors will receive 17% of the final order for debt repayment imposed on the airline, with any outstanding debt written off. Thai Airways says in today's update that it has continued to repay all its creditors. As of 15 November, repayment of outstanding principal and interest stood at nearly Bt130 billion and no default of any clauses under its rehabilitation plan has occurred. The airline also provided an update of the sale of four groups of non-core assets, as approved by the court on 3 December 2020. It has sold and received full payment for the sale of three of the assets, it says, namely shares in Bangkok Aviation Fuel Services, shares in Nok Air, as well as land and buildings at its Laksi training center. The fourth group of assets is five CFM International CFM56-3C1 engines for Boeing 737-400 aircraft, which are no longer in use. Thai Airways further detailed the sale of three other groups of non-core assets, which its plan administrator is authorised to sell, lease or seek benefit from. The airline raised Bt957 million from the sale of land and buildings at its Lan Luang office, Bt179 million from land and buildings at its Phuket office, and Bt105 million from land in Chiangmai. Each transaction was completed between September and October this year.


​SAA suspends all flights to Mauritius until 31 January 2022
December 31, 2021
South African Airways (SAA) has suspended all flights from Johannesburg to Mauritius until 31 January 2022, after the Mauritian government implemented a travel ban on all commercial flights from South Africa. The extension of the travel ban by Mauritius is effective immediately, the flag carrier notes, and comes as a result of the Omicron variant. The airline says it will continue to monitor the situation closely.


​Austrian repays one-fifth of €300 million state-backed loan
December 30, 2021
Austrian Airlines has repaid another €30 million ($33.8 million) of its €300 million state-guaranteed loan. The Vienna-based carrier says it is on track to repay the loan in the agreed timeframe despite the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic is "going on longer than we all hoped". Austrian must repay the loan in six-monthly instalments until 2026. It has now repaid a total of €60 million, after making two €30 million payments in July and December of this year. "Without the support of the Austrian federal government and other stakeholders, the continuance of Austrian Airlines as such would not have been possible," says board member Michael Trestl. "We are proud that we have already repaid a fifth of our financial aid, and that we are fulfilling our responsibilities as promised." The €300 million state-backed loan was part of a €600 million financial support package for the carrier that was agreed between the Austrian government and parent company Lufthansa Group in June 2020. In addition to the €300 million loan, the Austrian government provided €150 million in state aid to cover "coronavirus-related losses", while Lufthansa Group injected another €150 million in equity capital. The Austrian government has guaranteed 90% of the loan via the state's COFAG agency – a special-purpose vehicle to provide liquidity assistance to companies during the Covid-19 crisis. The banking syndicate includes Erste Group, which is serving as overall arranger for the loan, as well as Raiffeisenbank International and BAWAG.


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