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Airline under cloud as Thailand enacts highest standards

January 25, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Thailand’s civil aviation authority is likely to suspend or revoke the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) of a Thai-registered airline which is facing a financial crisis, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) will wait for the results of another inspection later this month before acting. CAAT did not reveal the name of the airline, but said it had carried out an inspection and discovered that the carrier was previously owned by a Thai operator who sold his shares to a Chinese firm. The Chinese firm in turn used the Thai company as its nominee to run the business, CAAT director Chula Sukmanop said.

Financial problems can lead to an airline having its licence to operate revoked.

CAAT has launched an inspection of all airlines operating international flights before it will issue them with AOCs in accordance with the safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The following nine airlines are expected to be granted AOCs, the paper reported: Thai Airways International (THAI), Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, Nok Air, K-Mile Air, Orient Thai Airlines, AirAsia X, NokScoot and Thai Smile.

Those nine are Thailand’s main aviation operators “flying 70% of the international flights (out of Thailand)”, Chula said.

A further 14 airlines are expected to receive AOCs in January next year.

Issuing new AOCs involves five steps overseen by specialists, to ensure the highest standards in aviation operations, airworthiness, cabin safety and dealing with dangerous goods. The process will allow ICAO to lift its “red flag” safety warning from Thai aviation.

Written by Peter Needham

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