Thai Airways asks for 34 billion baht bailout

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Thai Airways International is now seeking a total of 34 billion baht ($973 million) to improve its balance sheet.

The airline says in a statement it "plans to raise 15 billion baht to replace its existing short-term borrowings".

It says it also wants another 19 billion baht to bridge the liquidity tightness for 2009.

Thai had earlier said it would seek to roll over the 15 billion baht it has in short-term borrowings but like many companies today it is finding credit hard to come by.

The Star Alliance carrier's VP of investor relations, Raj Tanta-nanta, told ATI on 20 January that Thai wants to raise billions of baht by getting a bridging loan from the Thai Government.

In mid-February the carrier will announce a loss for the fourth quarter of last year and blames its financial woes on the global financial crisis and the temporary closure late last year of Bangkok's two major airports.