Japan agrees to extend entry permission for Thai airlines


The Japanese government has decided to extend the period during which Thai airlines are allowed to operate flights to and from Japan while the agreement on railway development cooperation has been inked by the two countries.

Upon his return from Japan, Minister of Transport ACM Prajin Juntong revealed that he has sought negotiations with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) in a bid to ask the agency to prolong the effect of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) which gives permission to six Thai carriers to conduct normal services on Japanese routes until the end of May. The six airlines consist of Nok Scoot, Asia Atlantic, Jet Asia, Asian Air, Thai Airways International and Thai AirAsia X.

Minister of Transport ACM Prajin Juntong.

JCAB had earlier imposed a ban on all flights, both scheduled and chartered, operated from Thailand after the discovery of safety flaws in the Thai aviation system by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

However, ACM Prajin announced that, as requested, JCAB has agreed to postpone the May 31 deadline indefinitely, allowing the six carriers to continue with their services without disruptions. In the meantime, Thailand will still be obligated by the agreed conditions to improve its aviation safety in line with international standards.

Besides the aviation talks, the Transport Minister added that a memorandum of cooperation on joint railway development was also signed with Japan during his visit. The deal covers three projects, namely the Bangkok-Chiang Mai route, the Kanchanaburi-Bangkok-Laem Chabang Port route, and the Bangkok-Sa Kaeo route. The minister expects more vital details on the joint venture to be finalized by July 27.