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Thailand's red flag over air safety is removed
Posted on 10/10/2017


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The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has upgraded Thailand's safety rating which has had a red flag hanging over it since March 2015.

Nok Air has previously been awarded just 2 stars for its air safety

Nok Air has previously been awarded just 2 stars for its air safety
©Anantachat Netisoonthornchai/123RF

Inspectors from the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency, previously raised 33 individual safety concerns with regards to the safety of Thailand's airlines. Consequently, the concerns meant that Thailand's airlines were not permitted to launch any new services internationally and were prone to additional security checks and other enforced measures concerning safety and security.

Quoted within The Independent the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), has summarized the ICAO's decision as being a "significant turning point for [Thailand's] aviation industry" pledging to "carry on [its] mission to improve aviation safety standards".

The recent lift of the red flag caution over air safety in Thailand is of course positive news for the country's airline industry as a whole. However, Thailand has not always has the best track record in terms of air safety ratings, begging the question, why was the red flag status awarded in the first place?

However it appears that since the beginning of 2017, Thailand has addressed these specific concerns and significantly improved its airline safety. This has been recognized by ICAO, who has removed the red flag, therefore upgrading Thailand's air safety status. This has in turn given a boost to the airline industry in Thailand with both Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways reporting spikes in share prices.

According to statistics provided by AirlineRatings.com, a company which rates airlines safety level on a 1 to 7 star scale, multiple Thai airlines have struggled where safety is concerend. In January of 2017, the ratings were as followed; Nok Air 2 stars, AirAsia Thailand, Orient Thai Airlines and Bangkok Air 3 stars, and 4 stars to Thai Airways.

Other countries which, like Thailand, have been flagged over air safety concerns include Malawi, Haiti, Djibouti, Eritrea and Kyrgyzstan. In addition, the EU's safety rating system highlights similar concerns with all airline carriers from a select list of 13 countries (such as Libya, Nepal and Sierra Leone) banned from entering EU airspace due to their lack of sufficient air safety precautions.