16 Thailand Airlines are blocked from flying international routes as they failed to meet a deadline to renew their air operator’s certificates (AOCs).
Two years ago in 2015, ICAO “red flagged” and downgraded Thailand aviation sector including airports for not meeting International Aviation safety standards.
The ICAO is due to send delegates to inspect Thailand’s new aviation safety regulatory system later this month or in early October to evaluate and lift the ban.
In the mean time, Thai authorities upgraded their regulatory system and started issuing AOCs for those whose qualified under new system. According to a government committee chaired by Deputy Premier Prawit Wongsuwan, Thai authorities had already issued AOCs to nine airlines under the new regulatory system, while another 11 airlines were in the process of applying for AOCs.
In addition, the regulatory system needs to be overhauled to cope with new challenges resulting in the restructuring of multiple agencies, including the CAAT.
As a result of failing to pass the CAAT’s assessments, all 16 airlines were ordered to suspend their service as of last Friday, in line with the ICAO’s regulations.
A Red Flag, makes it impossible for Thai Carriers (especially charter carriers such as Thai Air Asia-X, Nok Air, Nok Scoot etc) but also Thai Airways to file new routes and expand their international network.