The board of Thai Airways International resigned on 6 September after the country's prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra threatened to sack the directors for failing to resolve bitter internal conflicts that have dogged the loss-making carrier.

Thai's 15-member board will continue in an acting capacity until a shareholders' meeting on 5 October when a new board will be appointed. Most nominations are expected to come from the finance ministry, which owns 93% of the carrier, rather than being split evenly with the transport ministry as in the past. A candidate for president is expected to emerge around mid-September.

Thaksin has indicated Thai's senior managers may also be purged and that he will take a close interest in the carrier's attempts to restore profits.

Finance ministry permanent secretary Somchainuk Engtrakul has been appointed as acting president and former president Bhisit Kuslasayanon becomes an advisor.

Thaksin has removed the carrier from deputy transport minister Pracha Maleenond's portfolio, instead handing him the long-delayed new Bangkok international airport project.

Despite the upheaval, the government says that Thai's public offer of 13% of its shares should still go ahead before year-end, with more details expected at the shareholders' meeting.

Source: Flight International