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Published on Thursday, June 25, 2020

Struggling NokScoot lays off staff

As rumours swirl on social media that it may collapse, Thai budget carrier NokScoot is laying off more than half of its workforce.

Its five-plane fleet will be reduced to just two aircraft.

"Despite some early signs of stabilising, demand for air travel is not expected to return to 2019 levels until 2022 or 2023," the airline said.

NokScoot will send three aircraft back to the parent company in Singapore.

The airline is a joint venture between Thailand's Nok Airlines and Singapore Airlines owned Scoot.

NokScoot is among a group of eight Thailand-based carriers pleading for financial iad from the government.

The airlines are asking for THB24 billion in soft loans.

Without it the market will consolidate and some airlines won't survive, said Tassapon Bijleveld executive chairman of Thai AirAsia's largest shareholder.

"If the government does not approve the soft loans airlines have requested, when Thailand opens to international travellers there may not be enough jets to serve them as many airlines have serious cash flow problems."

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