Published On: Sat, May 9th, 2015

South Korea Eases Ban On Charter Flights From Thailand

South Korea has announced that its official aviation agency will remove recent bans on selected Thai aircraft charter flights. Effective immediately, Thai Airways International (THAI) and Thai Air Asia X will be allowed not only to fly into the country, but to increase their total allowed amount of private flights as well. The news coming from the agency also has a positive impact for Jet Asia Airways, who have received a temporary reprieve allowing them to operate flights into South Korea.

Bans Enacted For Safety Concerns

The bans went into place some time ago, as first Japan, then South Korea, enacted an embargo on certain aircraft charter and private flights coming from the nation of Thailand. These bans included not only the airlines listed above, but also Asia Atlantic Airlines and NokScoot.

These bans were enacted for safety concerns. It seems that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) made the choice to enact them after making an audit of the Department of Civil Aviation’s (DCA) operational and safety standards, and judging them to be somewhat lacking.

In the end, however, representatives from the DCA met with the aviation authorities in South Korea to try to come to an understanding. The compromise was thus enacted after the DCA envoys were able to assure South Korean authorities that these significant safety issues would be addressed as quickly and effectively as possible. No word has yet been released to the public concerning the exact content of these discussions.

Who Is Affected By The Ban?

According to a statement recently released by ACM Prajin, the ban on charter flights will affect Thai aircraft passengers in a direct and negative manner. Passengers from that country who are flying on scheduled flights by THAI and Thai AirAsia X will not be allowed into Japan or South Korea in anywhere near the same capacity that they have been until very recently.

As a result, the number of flights that are being allowed into Japan and South Korea may not be enough to handle the total demand for entry into these two countries. It is therefore imperative that some lasting arrangement be made that will allow for the complete lifting of the flight ban. As of now, negotiations to do so are ongoing.

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It is hoped that this latest round of discussions will allow Thai aircraft charter flights to resume as quickly as possible. It was alleged by representatives in both Japan and South Korea that these private flights were not adhering to international safety standards, especially those particular standards that have been enacted in those two nations.

However, the easing of this latest temporary ban sent a message of hope and reconciliation throughout the Southeast Asian aviation community. It is thought that this latest round of bans was more in the nature of a warning rather than a harbinger of a complete embargo on Thai aircraft flights. Whether this will prove to be the case remains to be seen.

For more private aviation news, check out the Adagold articles section on a regular basis.

Guest Author: Archie Ward


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