BANGKOK, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Thai Airways International PCL (THAI.BK) said on Friday that Chai Eamsiri would become the company’s chief executive officer from Feb. 1, as it proceeds with a pandemic-driven restructuring plan.

Chai, currently the firm’s chief financial officer, was chosen for the top job from 53 internal and external candidates, the company said in a statement.

“The appointment is a crucial next step to build trust and confidence among the creditors, passengers and business partners,” it said, adding Chai had 37 years of experience and knowledge in the Thai aviation industry.

The airline, which has had acting CEOs since 2020, opened applications for the top job in September. Candidates were required to be Thai nationals in line with government regulations.

Thai Airways began bankruptcy protected restructuring of debt worth 400 billion baht ($11.17 billion) last year.

The new CEO will have to work with the restructuring committee and oversee the airline’s recovery.

($1=35.80 baht)

Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; writing by Orathai Sriring; editing by Jason Neely

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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