BANGKOK, 25 Feb 2014, – Thai AirAsia has announced it has no ties with the Shinawatra family while indicating political unrest had scared off many of its Chinese customers and forced the airline to postpone the debut of its low cost arm Thai AirAsia X.
The statement was made by the carrier’s CEO Tassapon Bijleveld who pointed out that Shin Corporation had a majority of its shares back in 2004 when the airline was launched, while today, Thai AirAsia is 55% owned by Asia Aviation, and 45% owned by AirAsia International. He stressed the transparency of the airline’s ownership and operations, saying the details can be examined if need be.
Mr. Tassapon said that the airline spent 5 years buying back shares from Shin Corp., now known as InTouch Group which also has no relationship with the Shinawatra family. He said the carrier managed to do so by registering itself in the stock market in order to raise funds to pay its debts.
Meanwhile, the CEO said that since the eruption of political turmoil 4 months ago, the number of Thai AirAsia’s Chinese passengers had dropped by 30%, adding that it is now focusing on the Indonesian market in order to compensate for the loss. Mr. Tassapon also said that the political dispute had forced the airline to postpone the debut of its low cost airline, Thai AirAsia X, which was originally slated for February to March.
Mr. Tassapon gave assurances however that Thai AirAsia X would be established within the year.