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Airlines in Thailand are facing bans on international flights over possible safety concerns. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) found significant concerns with the country’s aviation safety, according to officials.
As a result of the organization’s findings, Thailand has been designated a “significant safety concern,” although no official announcement has been made by the group. Governments were informed last week of the issue.
Japan has already taken measures by blocking flights from Thailand. The country’s Civil Aviation Bureau informed Thailand that it would not allow new charter flights through email. A spokesman for the bureau stated that the temporary measure was put in place by the bureau over concerns that the airlines may not meet international safety standards. South Korea is considering a similar measure. A transportation official from the company stated that new flights are
unlikely to be approved. Existing flights will not be affected.
Airlines that are forced to cancel flights include NokScoot, Thai AirAsia X, Asia Atlantic Airline and Thai Airways. NokScoot had planned to start a new flight to Seoul’s Incheon airport in May, but it is unlikely that South Korea will approve the flight.
Disruptions to flights come just ahead of Songkran, a heavy travel season. Typically, airlines boost the number of flights during this time period.
Thailand is a top tourist destination, and the country’s economy relies heavily on tourism, which employs millions of people.
A Thai Airways spokesperson stated that the airline would have to cancel approximately five flights. The airline, along with other Thai carriers, will also face an increase in inspections by regulators.
ICAO audited Thailand back in January for the first time in a decade. The audit assesses the country’s ability to ensure aviation safety, including licensing and training, accident investigation and air worthiness. According to the Thai ministry’s statement, solutions to fix the problems found during the inspections will be implemented as soon as possible.