05/27/2020, 15.54
ASIA
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Coronavirus: Thai Airways, Asia’s first airline to file for bankruptcy

Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines are also under pressure. Six world carriers have already gone under or suspended operations. Air travel will only return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Thai Airways International’s bankruptcy petition has been accepted.

The Central Bankruptcy Court in Bangkok responded affirmatively to the airline’s request for debt rehabilitation, a process expected to take five years.

Thailand’s flagship carrier is Asia’s first airline to file for bankruptcy since the pandemic began.

The airline industry as a whole went into crisis in February when most countries closed their air space to foreign travel to contain the coronavirus.

Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines are also under pressure. Both rely disproportionately on international routes.

Goldman Sachs expects the Hong Kong carrier to lose 5 per cent of its traffic next year over 2019; 2 per cent in the case of the Singapore company.

So far, six international airlines have filed for bankruptcy or suspended their operations due to the effects of COVID-19.

One of these companies is Virgin Australia, which has been under administration since 21 April after it failed to secure a government bailout.

The International Air Transport Association does not expect air travel to return to normal before 2023.

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