Eight Thai carriers have sought a soft loan of around Bt25 billion ($771 million) from the Thai government, according to a 24 April Reuters report that cites a Thai AirAsia executive.

 Tassapon Bijleveld, the executive chairman of Thai AirAsia and its parent company Asia Aviation, added that the carriers seeking the loan are Bangkok AirwaysNok AirNokScootThai AirAsiaThai AirAsia X, Thai Lion Air, Thai VietJet Air, and Thai Smile.

The loan will carry an interest rate of 2%, which will have to be paid back over five years from 2021 onwards.

The report adds that while the airlines sought an initial Bt6.25 billion to be disbursed this month, further discussions with the Thai government were required.

The precise amount of the loan is unclear and Thai AirAsia did not respond to a request for clarification. A 16 April report from Thai newspaper Thansettakij indicated that the loan amount the airlines had sought amounted to nearly Bt24.2 billion. This is less than the Bt25 billion reported by Reuters.

Thai AirAsia was said to have sought Bt4.5 billion, while Nok Air has asked for Bt4 billion and Thai Lion Air Bt3.75 billion.

As for NokScoot, the request was reportedly for Bt3.5 billion. Bangkok Airways and Thai AirAsia X have each requested Bt3 billion. The smallest requests are coming from Thai Smile for Bt1.5 billion and Thai VietJet Air for Bt900 million.

Cirium has contacted the eight airlines for comment.

A number of Thai carriers suspended operations this month as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, although some had indicated plans to resume domestic services as early as 1 May.

Thai AirAsia and Thai Lion Air said they will resume domestic operations on 1 May, with Bangkok Airways to follow on 15 May by operating the Bangkok-Koh Samui route.