Thai AirAsia reassures investors after ICAO setback

Thai AirAsia has assured its investors that it is on track to meet its 2015 targets, following recent setbacks in the Thai aviation sector.

The company held an open meeting at the Stock Exchange of Thailand on 21 April 2015, where it told stakeholders that it would be able to operate all its fights as scheduled, despite the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) recent audit of Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation.

Thai AirAsia plans to add five new aircraft in 2015
Thai AirAsia plans to add five new aircraft in 2015

It reiterated that it would continue with its previously set targets of acquiring five new aircraft in 2015, adding three or four new routes, and carrying 14.5 million passengers.

“The situation will not impact Thai AirAsia’s expansion plans in the latter half of the year,” said Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia.

“We continue to be able to operate all of our flights as scheduled and our plans to add three-to-four new routes during the second half of the year have not been impeded as the countries we have targeted are Nepal, India, Laos, the Philippines and Indonesia, which are not affected by the ICAO’s announcement.

“Pertaining to our plan to add a new route to China in October, if the Department of Civil Aviation [of] Thailand is able to complete its revisions by July, the plan should not be impacted. Regardless, if the department is not able to achieve its revisions by that time, we have already begun seeking out alternatives,” he added.

Late last month, ICAO said it discovered a “significant safety concern” during its audit of Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation, which led to China, Japan and South Korea limiting the launch of new routes to their countries by Thai carriers.

Thai AirAsia X is planning to commence flights to Sapporo in May, and Tassapon said that this route “will be able to operate”.

“Negotiations [are] already ongoing with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau as to the future of the route,” he added.
Thai AirAsia X’s other routes from Bangkok to Tokyo, Osaka and Seoul remain unaffected.

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