Thailand Examines Airline Finances

February 23, 2016

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Thailand's civil aviation authority has ordered all Thai-registered airlines to submit reports on their financial positions by March 31 to avoid the risk of having their operating licenses revoked.

The move is part of the military government's attempt to improve the country's aviation standards after the US Federal Aviation Administration downgraded Thailand's safety ratings in December.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) examined the financial status of Thai carriers late last year and found four small airlines had debt levels that could affect safety standards, Chula Sukmanop, the head of CAAT told reporters.

The four privately-owned airlines are City Airways, Asian Air, Kan Airlines and Jet Asia Airways, Chula said, adding CAAT had ordered City Airways to temporarily suspend its flights from February 19.

CAAT is also investigating pilots at budget carrier Nok Airlines after flight cancellations earlier this month due to shortage of pilots, Chula said.

Nok Air chief executive Patee Sarasin said last week the airline would use charter flights to serve passengers and expected to resume operations as normal in early March.

The ICAO downgraded Thailand's rating in June 2015, giving it a red flag for missing a deadline to tackle safety concerns.

(Reuters)