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Thai aviation safety downgrade ‘may affect charter flights’

The director of a tourism trade federation in Thailand has warned that outbound charter flights may be affected by an international airline inspection agency’s decision to downgrade Thailand for substandard safety protocols.

aviation safety ThailandSuparerk Soorangura, chairman of the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA), said the “red flag” handed to Thailand by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) yesterday may make it difficult for Thai airlines to secure licenses to operate charter flights in many countries.

“It will affect foreign aviation department’s consideration of whether to allow Thai charter flights to enter their country,” Suparerk said yesterday. “In the long run, it may affect both inbound and outbound tourism, and it may affect our goal of 2.3 trillion baht in tourism revenue that we planned for next year.”

Suparerk added, “This announcement by the ICAO is not unexpected … but it depends on each country, what they will do with this result. Some countries are not too strict. They may give Thailand some time.”

He also told reporters that the effects of the downgrade are not yet clear because Thailand is still in its annual low season for tourism.

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