Financial concerns call trouble for Thai airlines

Published on : Wednesday, January 25, 2017

thailandThe Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has planned to suspend or revoke the Air Operator Certificates (AOCs) of a Thai-registered airline which is facing a financial crisis. Nine out of the twenty three Thai Airlines, which accounts for about 70% of the international flights of the of the south east Asian country have received their air operator certificates (AOCs) reissued  and 14 more are left to get the approval. This certificate is mandatory by an airline from any country to be allowed to fly commercially.



The agency carried out an inspection which revealed that the airline was previously owned by a Thai operator who sold his shares to a Chinese firm which in turn used the Thai company as its nominee to run the business. CAAT director Chula Sukmanop however did not disclose the name of the airline but one is reportedly close to being grounded.



Thailand is one of eight countries marked with a red flag, denoting a “significant security concern”, by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Chula Sukmanop, director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), said one of the airlines has been instructed to begin a rehabilitation plan after complaints were lodged by its employees. the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rated the country’s aviation safety to Category 2 over safety concerns and banned Thai airlines from opening new routes to the US or expanding existing ones.



Thai airlines were placed under “special measures” by the ICAO two years ago, causing a number to cancel a raft of flights, but the CAAT is hoping the red flag will be lifted after it finishes an audit of its carriers. the nine set of Thai airlines  to have their AOCs reissued imminently were Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, Nok Air, K-Mile Air, Orient Thai Airlines, Air Asia X, NokScoot and Thai Smile. According to the EU Air Safety List, which was updated in December 2016, no Thai airlines are currently banned from flying within the EU.

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