June 1, 2018 / 10:21 AM / 3 months ago

Thai Airways to have senior finance ministry official as new chairman: source

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai Airways International PCL’s new chairman will be a senior official from the Ministry of Finance tasked with coordinating between the flag carrier and its majority owner, a senior government source said on Friday.

The government will appoint Ekniti Nitithanprapas as chairman of the board of directors “soon”, the person said, who declined to be identified as the matter was still confidential.

Ekniti currently heads the ministry’s revenue department. His brief is to “coordinate” between the ministry - which owns 51 percent of the airline - and incoming chief executive, Sumeth Damrongchaitham, to enhance efficiency, the person said.

Ekniti, who headed the ministry’s State Enterprise Policy Office from 2015 to 2018, will replace the acting chairman, Air Chief Marshall Treetod Sonjance.

The new leadership comes during the final phase of a restructuring plan which began in 2015 and was aimed at restoring profitability. The airline is one of several major state-controlled firms to undergo reform since the military government assumed power in 2014.

Thai Airways reported a net loss in 2017 and a 14 percent fall in net profit for January-March.

Reporting by Pracha Hariraksapitak; Additional reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng

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