Thai Airways receives all-clear for flights to EU

Thai Airways planes seen at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport in this Feb 26, 2014, file photo. Thai Airways International said it had passed an audit by the EASA allowing it to continue to fly to the EU.
Thai Airways planes seen at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport in this Feb 26, 2014, file photo. Thai Airways International said it had passed an audit by the EASA allowing it to continue to fly to the EU.PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thai Airways International (THAI) on Tuesday (Dec 22) said it had passed an audit by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) allowing it to continue to fly to the European Union.

Thailand is under international scrutiny for its failure to tackle flaws in its commercial aviation standards.

THAI currently operates flights to 11 destinations in Europe including London, Paris, Brussels and Zurich.

EASA granted Third Country Operator (TCO) authorisation for the airline effective from Dec 15, company President Charamporn Jotikasthira said in a statement.

The European aviation body last year announced that for safety reasons, it required TCO authorisation for all non-EU-registered commercial operators travelling to the EU.

The US Federal Aviation Administration downgraded Thailand's civil aviation body's safety ratings earlier this month because it did not comply with its standards.

The downgrade did not impact the kingdom's airlines as none currently fly directly to the United States, but it could hurt the South-east Asian country's thriving tourism industry and its reputation as a regional travel hub.

In June, the Civil Aviation Authority, a division of the United Nations, also downgraded Thailand after an audit found certification problems in the transportation of hazardous goods and a shortage of technicians.