Nine more airlines have applied for air operator certificates (AOC) to operate commercial services in Thailand, indicating the Thai aviation industry is recovering, according to Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) director Suthipong Kongpool.
The nine airlines are: Asian Aerospace Services Co Ltd, applying for non-scheduled services; Siam Seaplane Co Ltd, for non-scheduled service; Really Cool Airlines Co Ltd, for scheduled and non-scheduled services; Avanti Air Charter, for non-scheduled services; M-Landarch Co Ltd, for scheduled and non-scheduled services; Bangkok Helicopter Services Co Ltd, for non-scheduled services; Pattaya Airways Co Ltd, for non-scheduled and cargo transport services; Asia Atlantic Airlines, for non-scheduled services; and P80 Air Ltd, for scheduled and non-scheduled services.
Mr Suthipong said in issuing AOCs to applicants the CAAT takes into consideration their business plan, financial status, safety and service standards.
The CAAT believed the aviation industry was returning to levels seen before the arrival of Covid-19 in Thailand. The number of passengers carried in 2023 was expected to reach 127 million by year's end - 63.03 million international and 64.43 million domestic passengers - compared to about 160 million in 2019.
He said 2024 was expected to be the year of recovery for the aviation industry. The number of air passengers was expected to return to normal, around 162 million - 88.62 million international passengers and 74.05 million domestic passengers.