Thai budget carrier Nok Air has filed for business rehabilitation with a view to restructuring the company, taking a similar path to flag carrier Thai Airways which filed for the same protection in May.

The country’s Central Bankruptcy Court has accepted Nok Air’s rehabilitation petition for consideration and set 27 October as the date for a hearing on the petition, the carrier says in a 31 July filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

“The company has no intention to terminate or liquidate its business but resolves to continue its business and return to profitability,” says Nok Air. “It must be noted that the ongoing situation of Covid-19 pandemic and adverse operating environment has been the key drivers leading to the decision to undergo restructuring to enable the company to be a viable entity in the long run and not as a result of mismanagement.”

It adds: “The rehabilitation process will facilitate effective and meaningful turnaround of business for all the company’s stakeholders through the legal framework. It will also allow the company to continue its passenger, air cargo and air courier operations without interruption throughout the rehabilitation process.”

Nok Air has appointed one entity – Grant Thornton Specialist Advisory Services – and five people as rehabilitation planners. These are all already affiliated with Nok Air. They comprise two board members, Prinya Waiwatana and Tai Chong Yih; two directors, Kasemsant Weerakun and Chavalit Uttasart; and Nok Air chief executive Wutthiphum Jurangkool.

Jurangkool told local newspaper the Bangkok Post on 31 July that Nok Air would be able to return to solvency despite the airline’s rehabilitation filing.

“The airline won’t be bankrupt but we have to solve our liquidity problem,” he was quoted as saying. “Our 1,500 employees will continue to do their jobs as they are now.”