THAI flights continue in EU skies

The European Union on Thursday did not extend its airline ban to Thai Airways International despite concerns from the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Thai Airways International (THAI) has escaped inclusion on the European Union’s Air Safety List of substandard airlines even though the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) remains concerned about Thai air safety certification.

The European Commission on Thursday updated its EU Air Safety List, a list of airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, and no new bans were imposed.

That comes as a relief for THAI as the ICAO doubts the air safety certification of the Department of Civil Aviation for Thai-registered airlines including THAI.

The European Commission stated that it based its decision on the unanimous opinion of the EU Air Safety Committee which met from June 9 to 11. The committee consists of top aviation safety experts from each of the 28 member states of the European Union, as well as from Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Transport Minister Prajin Juntong said the updated list of the European Commission was good news and showed that it understood Thailand’s serious attempts to solve issues of air safety concerns.

He said he also expected similar good news from the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that will check Thai air safety certification in mid-July.

He said the ministry and the Department of Civil Aviation were trying to improve the capabilities of the department in recertifying 28 Thai-registered airlines with international services in order to convince the ICAO to lift its significant safety concerns.

THAI president Charamporn Jotikasthira said that as a result of the updated EU Air Safety List, THAI continued to operate its European flights as usual.

THAI is the only Thai-registered airline flying to Europe. It has 12 destinations there comprising London, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Brussels, Madrid, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm, Zurich, Milan and Rome. By the way, the tickets for THAI AIRWAYS flights to Europe are extremly cheap on cheaptickets.com now.

The EU Air Safety List is a list of airlines considered not able to respect international aviation safety standards, or whose civil aviation authorities are deemed unable to provide the necessary safety oversight under international aviation safety rules.

The updated list bans 232 airlines certified in 21 countries and imposes operational restrictions on eight airlines in seven countries.

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