TOKYO -- Japan has notified Thailand that it will not approve any new regular international or chartered flights from the country. According to government sources, Japan is concerned with the Thai aviation authority's low standards.
The move comes after the International Civil Aviation Organization raised concerns about the Thai government's issuing of aviation licenses to airlines despite a lack of sufficient operator safety standards.
Japan's transport ministry is saying no only to new flights by Thai airlines. Routes that Thai carriers are already flying are unaffected.
In January, the ICAO conducted an air safety investigation into the Thai aviation authority and concluded that the country had issued licenses to airlines that did not meet ICAO-sanctioned standards.
Due to the conclusion, Japan, the U.S., European nations and other ICAO member states are unable to accept any new routes, additional flights along existing routes or new chartered flights from Thailand. The ban will remain in place until the ICAO judges that the issue has been resolved.
This means Japan cannot lift the ban at its own discretion.
Thai low-cost carrier NokScoot Airlines has had to postpone the launch of a route between Narita and Bangkok. Similarly, Thai AirAsia X will likely have to put off its scheduled new service to Hokkaido.