The United States Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) downgrading of Thailand’s aviation industry has dealt a heavy blow to the industry.
European Commission said in a statement issued on Thursday that no Thai-registered airlines were added to its EU Air Safety List when the listing of carriers subject to operational ban in EU was updated Thursday.
Thai government and public publicly owned company Thai Airways breathed a sigh of relief after Thai Airways International (THAI) and MJets which serve European destinations were spared bans in an audit by the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The statement said EU and EASA would closely monitor future developments and, if the protection of air passengers against safety risks so requires, the commission could then propose to include one or more airlines from Thailand in the Air Safety List.
Mr Chula Sookmanop, director-general of Airports Department and acting director of National Civil Aviation Office, attributed EASA’s sparing of ban to Europe of Thai airlines to Thailand’s determination to resolve the aviation standards problem and its cooperation with EASA to resolve the problem.
“No air carriers from Thailand were added to the Air Safety List at this time. The Commission and EASA are willing to continue to work with Thai authorities to enhance aviation safety in the country.
“The Commission and EASA will however closely monitor future developments and, if the protection of air passengers against safety risks so requires, the Commission could then propose to include one or more air carriers from Thailand in the Air Safety List,” said the press release.
The updated EU Air Safety List, to be published today in the Official Journal of the EU, is based on the unanimous opinion of the EU Air Safety Committee, which met from Nov 24-26, 2015.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told a press conference the absence of the two airlines from EASA’s ban list shows the EU’s confidence in the government’s hard work and consistent efforts to maintain aviation standards.
If its finding turns unfavourable, then the hardest hit will be the country’s, national flag carrier, Thai Airways International (THAI), which a third of its revenue is derived from routes to European destinations.
According to the FAA’s downgrading of Thailand’s aviation safety standard to Category 2 from Category 1, it stated that the Department of Civil Aviation lacks law or regulation needed to oversee airlines in line with international standard.
As a consequence, Thai carriers will be banned from establishing new services to the U.S. until it regains the Category 1 status.
But Thai officials remained optimistic that the US doiwngrade does not pose immediate business impact on the Thai aviation industry, as THAI has halted its services to the U.S. since October.
However it does certainly tarnished the image of the industry.The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in June this year has already red flagged Thailand for its failure to meet its standard particularly a shortage of aviation personnel and certification problems in transporting hazardous goods.
But Transport Minister Arkom Termpittayapaisith promised to speed up solving the problem from the roots in bid to remove Thailand from the ICAO’s red-flag.He said once the red-flag is removed, it is likely that Thailand will regain its Category 1 status.
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Thai Airways Resumes Normal Operations to Europe
Flights from Bangkok to Europe and from Europe to Bangkok will fly normally, but avoiding Pakistan’s airspace
In a press release update published earlier this afternoon, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) apologized to all its passengers for any inconvenience caused as a result of sudden closure of Pakistani airspace due to rising tension between Pakistan and India situation.
THAI is pleased to announce that normal flight operations to Europe is now resumed through airspace outside Pakistan’s.
To ensure the highest standard of operational safety, THAI received permission from the authority to operate its flights through the airspace of the Republic of China. THAI’s flights from Bangkok to Europe will be operated as follow:
light Lieutenant Pratana Patanasiri, THAI Vice President, Aviation Safety, Security and Standards Department
Day-time flights Thursday, 28 February 2019
– Flight TG974/ Bangkok-Moscow (flight will be delayed from the normal schedule)
– Flight TG916/ Bangkok-London
– Flight TG922/ Bangkok-Frankfurt
– Flight TG962/ Bangkok-Stockholm
Night-time flights on Friday, 1 March 2019 (check-in on the night of 28 February 2019)
– Flight TG910/ Bangkok-London
– Flight TG924/ Bangkok-Munich
– Flight TG930/ Bangkok-Paris
– Flight TG934/ Bangkok-Brussels
– Flight TG944/ Bangkok-Rome
– Flight TG936/ Bangkok-Vienna
– Flight TG960/ Bangkok-Stockholm
– Flight TG970/ Bangkok-Zurich
– Flight TG950/ Bangkok-Copenhagen
– Flight TG954/ Bangkok-Oslo
Furthermore, THAI operates flights TG507 and TG508 between Bangkok and Muscat but will not make a stopover in Karachi.
THAI cancels flights TG345 and TG346 between Bangkok and Lahore today (28 February, 2019).
To assist and facilitate THAI customers in accordance with international standard requirements, passengers who hold tickets on the routes affected by flight cancellation may change their itineraries. Fees and charges will be exempted, and conditions apply.
THAI is monitoring the situation closely in order to properly assess the situation. All passengers traveling on the afore-mentioned flights are advised to check the Company’s announcements and keep abreast of all related news. For information on flight schedules, passengers may check at thaiairways.com or THAI Contact Center at Tel. 0-356-1111, 24-hours a day.
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