Aviation deal with Japan 'not ready'

Aviation deal with Japan 'not ready'

Thai transport authorities are still unable to seal a deal to send Thai chartered flights to Japan this hot season. (Photo by Krit Promsaka na Sakolnakorn)
Thai transport authorities are still unable to seal a deal to send Thai chartered flights to Japan this hot season. (Photo by Krit Promsaka na Sakolnakorn)

Thai chartered flights to Japan will be delayed longer as aviation agencies of both countries have yet to settle details on a temporary service agreement, transport authorities said on Thursday.

Somchai Piputvut, director-general of the Department of Civil Aviation, said chartered flights to Japan byThai-registered airlines could not be resumed on Thursday because the DCA and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) had yet to discuss details of a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

He refused to elaborate on the details to be ironed out. He expected the deal to be agreed on Friday and both sides could then sign the MoU. Thai transport authorities earlier predicted the signing on Thursday.

Mr Somchai said DCA officials would also discuss flight services with South Korea and China. He denied China had placed a ban on Thai flights, saying it only ordered a standard evaluation of all Thai airlines operating flights to its territory.

If any airlines performed poorly, they would be banned later.

Transport Minister Prajin Juntong said on Thursday he believed Thai air transport authorities could meet airline certification standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation within its 90-day deadline two months from now.

Improvement to meet the standards would cover corrections to the structures of concerned authorities, personnel, laws and practices.

The UN organisation has doubted the DCA's standards in issuing licences to airlines serving passengers and hazardous cargoes as well as its concurrent roles as the regulator and regional airport operator and its insufficient workforce to take up all licensing tasks amid booming air traffic.

The DCA hoped to sign the MoU with JCAB to allow chartered flights to visit Japan in these two months as air transport demands soar between both countries due to their long holidays in this period.

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