City Airways, a small airline owned by a consortium of Thai, mainland Chinese and Hong Kong investors, has had its landing rights revoked by the Thai authorities after the airline failed to provide proper maintenance records last week.
“We were concerned about passenger safety following a report that revealed that City Airways has not been following proper procedures during maintenance on their planes,” Santi Pawai, the director of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ Phuket office, told the Phuket Gazette.
The airline was connecting the Thai destinations Bangkok, Phuket and Surat Thani with three international destinations – Hong Kong, Nanchang and Nanjing – using five 170-seat B737-400 aircraft before it was grounded. Hundreds of passengers were stranded in Thailand without alternative flight arrangements made for them by City Airways.
The South China Morning Post has since contacted City’s Hong Kong co-owner Terence Mak Hung who denied any wrongdoing relating to the airline’s safety procedures and instead blamed the late submission of documents for the snafu.
Hung said the relevant documents had now been submitted and he is expecting City Airways to be flying again this week. Business Traveller Asia-Pacific will keep you posted on the developments.
Dominic Sebastian Lalk