The cabinet yesterday approved a proposal by Thai Airways International Plc to acquire 15 aircraft for 114.67 billion baht.

The acquisitions are planned for 2010 to 2014 and will include seven A330-300 aircraft under operating leases and eight 350-seat aircraft with operating leases and parts, said Supachai Jaisamuth, a government spokesman.

The planes should improve THAI’s services and raise its competitiveness.

The cabinet suggested that after THAI improved its performance this year, the company should improve its terms by altering the acquisitions to financial leases, rather than operating leases.

THAI was also advised to prepare a long-term plan for its next acquisition by conducting risk planning and drafting an emergency plan for oil price fluctuations.

The carrier needs 50 billion baht in capital for its restructuring, of which 20 billion baht would come from a capital increase and 30 billion from borrowing.

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