EU Air Safety List spares Thai airlines

11 Dec 2015 by GrahamSmith

The European Aviation Safety Agency has confirmed that it will not ban Thai carriers from flying into EU airspace, at least for the time being.

Following a safety audit, EASA concluded that it would continue to closely monitor the situation in Thailand, while also assisting the country in upgrading its air safety standards.

But the European Commission warned that it may consider listing individual airlines on the EU blacklist, should improvements not be made in the future.

Elsewhere, the updated EU Air Safety List of airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the EU has cleared Air Astana, but added Iraqi Airways.

In a statement, the EC said: "No air carriers from Thailand were added to the Air Safety List at this time. The EC and EASA will however closely monitor future developments and, if the protection of air passengers against safety risks so requires, the Commission could then propose to include one or more air carriers from Thailand in the Air Safety List."

Last week, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) downgraded the safety status of Thai aviation from Category 1 to Category 2 (see news, December 1).

The rating means that while Thai carriers would be allowed to continue operating existing services to the US, they would not be able to expand or establish new routes to the country.

However, Thai Airways no longer flies to anywhere in North America, after axeing its sole transpacific route, between Bangkok and Los Angeles, in October (see news, July 23).

An EU ban would have hurt the airline gravely, given that it maintains a significant presence in Europe (see news, July 8).

Clement Huang

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