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Thai budget airlines will get a government bailout

The Thailand government has vowed to help seven low-cost airlines with loans worth THB24 billion ($770 million).

In order to make use of the financial assistance the airlines must retain their current levels of staff, which amounts to a combined 20,000.

The airlines are Thai AirAsia and Thai AirAsia X, Bangkok Airways, Nok Airlines, Thai Smile Airways, Thai Lion Air and Thai Vietjet Air.

After several weeks seeking assistance, executives from the airlines submitted a petition for financial help at a meeting with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

They also sought an extension to a reduction in excise tax on jet fuel.

They also want surcharges and aviation fees waived or reduced.

“General Prayut has authorised the finance permanent secretary Prasong Poontaneat to talk to state banks to provide soft loans,” said Tassapon Bijleveld, Executive Chairman of Asia Aviation, the main shareholder of Thai AirAsia.

“The airlines will be able to maintain 20,000 jobs while Thai AirAsia alone will be able to keep 8,000 jobs secure,” Tassapon added.

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