Thai Airways International plans to issue new shares this year to raise 20 to 25 billion baht ($605 million to $756 million) as it restructures its debt.

The shares will be issued at a time to be determined later, says an airline spokeswoman. Thai will also renegotiate with its creditors to lengthen the duration of its debt, she adds.

"Debt restructuring will be done by year-end as [the] maturity of some debentures will come in October and November," says the spokeswoman.

The airline had previously submitted a recapitalisation plan to Thailand's ministry of finance, which owns a majority stake in it. The ministry is likely to buy new shares issued by Thai to maintain its 51% stake in the carrier.

Thai posted a net loss of 21 billion baht in 2008, and has 160 billion Thai baht of debt.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news