Thailand’s low-cost carrier NokScoot Airlines Co Ltd, which is partly owned by Singapore Airlines Ltd, said its board of directors has decided to liquidate the company as the COVID-19 pandemic dimmed prospects for its recovery
The airline, a joint venture between Singapore-based Scoot Tigerair Pte Ltd and Nok Airlines PLC, has not recorded a full-year profit since its inception in 2014.
“Unprecedented challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic have further exacerbated the situation,” the company said in a statement on Friday.
It said that shareholders are to meet in about two weeks to consider the resolution.
Singapore Airlines, which owns 49 percent of NokScoot through Scoot, said it does not see a path to recovery and sustainable growth for NokScoot.
It said it offered to sell its stake in the airline to Nok Air for a nominal sum of 1 baht (US$0.032), but Nok Air did not take it up.
“We regrettably had to then make the joint decision to move ahead with the liquidation,” it said.
The decision leaves 450 employees out of work.
NokScoot flew from Bangkok to Singapore, Taipei and destinations in China and Japan using a fleet of Boeing 777-200 aircraft leased from Singapore Airlines.
Separately, Delta Air Lines Inc is to inform nearly 2,600 pilots about a possible furlough, while encouraging a total of 7,900 eligible aviators to accept an early retirement package, according to a memo sent to staff on Friday.
“Even with the increased travel demand we’ve seen in recent weeks, we expect revenue to be at only 25 percent of what it was last summer and that a return to pre-COVID levels will likely be at least two years away,” Delta senior vice president of flight operations John Laughter said in the memo.
Laughter was reiterating CEO Ed Bastian’s forecast from earlier this week.
Because the company would not know for a few weeks how many pilots would accept early retirement and needs to address its overstaffing issue, the airline is to send notices about the potential furloughs to 2,558 pilots.
The Atlanta-based company has already offered employees a variety of options to take leave.
American Airlines Group Inc and Southwest Airlines Co also have offered similar early retirement packages to pilots and other workers.
US airlines have been restoring some service as lockdown-weary customers start booking flights again, especially to vacation destinations. It remains unclear what effect a recent surge in coronavirus cases would have on the fledgling recovery.
Meanwhile, British Airways PLC, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG), is to cut 350 pilots and put another 300 in a “pool” for rehire when needed as part of a deal reached with cockpit crew, the Sun reported.
Most of the pilots facing compulsory redundancies worked from London’s Gatwick Airport, according to the report, which did not say from where it obtained the information.
Captains and first officers who are placed in the pool do not have an aircraft to work on and would remain on half-pay, while all other operating flight crew would take a 15 percent pay cut for now, it said.
The carrier has been under fire from unions and members of parliament over plans to eliminate 12,000 jobs, or about 30 percent of its staff.
The UK’s transport select committee said the airline is using the crisis as an excuse to shed workers even as the government pays employee wages through a national furlough program.
That drew a swift response from IAG chief executive officer Willie Walsh, who said: “British Airways is fighting for its survival.”
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