Thai airlines spared European ban – for now

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Thailand’s airlines have been spared a ban from European skies despite concerns over flight safety in the country.

Last month the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates US air safety, downgraded all Thai airlines to “category 2”. While no Thai airlines currently fly to or from the States, the move prevents them from establishing new routes.

In March Thai airlines were placed under “special measures” by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), prompting Japan and South Korea to block new flights from Thai airlines.

But the EU’s air safety regulator, while announcing an update to its list of banned airlines, declined to impose its own restrictions, saying instead that it would continue to closely monitor aviation standards in the country.

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“No carriers from Thailand were added to the Air Safety List at this time,” said the European Commission in a statement on Thursday. “The Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are willing to continue to work with the Thai authorities to enhance aviation safety in the country.

"There was one new addition to the banned list – Iraqi Airways, which previously offered flights from Gatwick and Manchester."