JetAsia suspends flights to Japan

JetAsia suspends flights to Japan
PHOTO: The Straits Times

JetAsia Airways' flights to Japan was suspended on Thursday and will remain suspended until tomorrow.

In a statement, the airline said it was more concerned about safety than business. Effected passengers were allowed to change flights or get their money back.

Earlier, JetAsia launched a very attractive promotion - a Bt3,000 (S$120) ticket to Japan - and received a large number of passengers.

The airline was founded in December, 2009, and obtained its Air Operator Certificate from the DCA in October, 2010.

With the increasing demand for quality service providers in the Asia Pacific region, it was established to serve charter flights and ad-hoc services.

Earlier, Thai AirAsia X said it would temporarily suspend services from Bangkok to Sapporo in Japan from August 1 onwards due to a downgrade of Thailand's aviation safety rating.

However, Malaysia's AirAsia X will continue to fly to Tokyo and Osaka in Japan and Seoul in South Korea. Japan and South Korea are among the top destinations for Thai travellers.

The FAA team is in Bangkok until Friday to review the country's progress in improving its air safety to comply with international aviation standards.

The team is focusing on the country's ability, and not the ability of individual air carriers, to adhere to those standards.

It will examine airline licenses, certification documents, and regulations until tomorrow and will provide the initial results and advisories to the department on Thursday and Friday.

The final test phase is set to be announced in mid-September.

Prajin Juntong, the Minister of Transport, said he was not sure if Thailand would pass the tests.

According to Prajin, certifying airline licenses is one of the major issues that led the country to have air-safety problems and it will take time to solve it.

"We are ready to explain to the FAA the problem and how we are going to deal with it and solve that problem," he said.

Currently, the DCA and a support team from Singapore are revising the licences of 28 airlines registered in Thailand.

All 28 carriers are slated to be re-certified by the end of October and if all the airlines are able to meet international standards, specifically the International Civil Aviation Organisation's significant safety concerns, the ICAO should remove its red flag against Thailand's aviation industry.

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