The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has removed Thailand's “red flag” status from their website. Since that status was put in place in June 2015, Thai airline business has had to endure many problems that were compounded by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)'s decision to downgrade Thailand's aviation safety rating from Category 1 down to Category 2, resulting in a loss of THB11.3 billion over the past two years.
The removal of Thailand's “red flag” status from the ICAO website may prompt Japan, South Korea and FAA to lift their restrictions on some Thai airlines. If so, this would help reinvigorate the Thai commercial aviation even further. We at KResearch now expect that earnings in the Thai airline business may reach THB278.9 billion in 2017, and THB294.5 billion in 2018, which would be higher by THB1.3 billion and 8.4 billion, respectively, than if Thailand was still on the ICAO's “red flag” list.
The U-Tapao Aerotropolis is a strategic project that the government is implementing to turn the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) into a zone for high-tech and innovative industries. Aside from attracting airlines, promoting tourism and air freight transport in the eastern region, the U-Tapao Aerotropolis program is intended to draw substantial foreign investments into industries using the airport to ship goods to suppliers worldwide.
The ICAO decision to lift Thailand's “red flag” status will certainly help enhance the confidence of the international community toward the Thai aviation industry. The ICAO will no doubt officially reaffirm the Thai government's good governance on aviation safety soon, which is necessary for our country's endeavor to become a regional aviation hub.