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COVID-19 effect: Thailand’s low-cost airline NokScoot shuts down amid losses

BANGKOK: Thailand’s low-cost carrier NokScoot, which is partly owned by Singapore Airlines, said its board of directors decided to liquidate the company as the coronavirus pandemic dimmed prospects for its recovery.

The airline, a joint venture between Singapore-based Scoot 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 will meet in about two weeks to consider the resolution. Singapore Airlines, which owns 49 per cent 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 NokScoot to Nok Air for a nominal sum of 1 Thai baht, but it was not taken 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.

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