Economy

Thai airlines get safety boost as United Nations lifts 'red flag'

Thai airlines get safety boost as United Nations lifts 'red flag'”

The ICAO has removed its red flag from Thailand, indicating that it no longer has serious safety concerns about the country's aviation sector.

A 2015 audit by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of Thai airlines found "significant safety concerns" prompting the downgrade.

In response, Thailand's aviation authority, the CAAT, made a decision to recertify all Thai-registered carriers operating worldwide flights, a process that began in September 2016. The Montreal-based United Nations agency was not immediately available for comment, but the red flag which appeared against Thailand on its website had disappeared.

After this, Thailand's Ministry of Transport will go ahead to solve two issues, including other insignificant matters for safety, and development of aviation personnel sufficient for working up to and maintaining the standard, he said.

The removal of the red flag "shows the trust of ICAO and worldwide community in Thai aviation", Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha told reporters on Monday.

"Although lifting the red flag is a significant turning point for her aviation industry, Thailand as well as CAAT need to carry on their missions to improve the aviation safety standards", the CAAT said on its website.

Air operator certificates of 28 locally registered airlines operating worldwide flights were reviewed. The government sought the ICAO's reassessment on June 30 and its representatives arrived for the task on Sept 20-27, Gen Prayut said - ending with the removal of the red flag.

On the other hand, millions of tourists travel each year to Thailand, where at regional level operate low-priced companies and other important ones like Thai Airways. Asia Aviation shares rose 4.62%.

"It allows Thai airlines to fly anywhere in the world".

AirAsia could also gain with passengers who travel by Thai AirAsia X which is expected to open new routes in South Korea and Japan.

CAAT Director-General Chula Sukmanop said the CAAT is in the process of verifying the reports with the ICAO before making comments. Shares in airport operator Airports of Thailand rose over 2 percent.

ICAO's red flag was based on its audit of the regulatory body, rather than individual airlines.



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