First post published on April 6, 2015 with additional updates on April 8, 2015.
Thai Chartered Flights
In our earlier post, ICAO noted significant safety concerns with the Thailand aviation industry. Various countries including Japan immediately imposed restrictions. Given the importance of Thai chartered flights to Japan (especially over the Songkran holidays), Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) visited Japan and obtained a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on April 3, 2015 which will allow the following 6 Thai airlines to operate chartered flights between Thailand and Japan for a six week period from April 11 to May 31, 2015:
- Asian Air (DM)
- Asia Atlantic Airlines (HB)
- Jet Asia Airways (JF)
- NokScoot (XW)
- Thai Air Asia X (XJ)
- Thai Airways International (TG)
The following is information pertaining to each airline listed above that offer chartered flights . Most of them with the exception of Thai AirAsia use Boeing 767 or 777 aircrafts.
In terms of service offering:
- All of the airlines would have full meals for their Thailand-Japan flights.
- XW is the only one with Wi-Fi capabilities installed (free for ScootBiz and add-on for other classes)
- TG and XJ have entertainment systems available built-in or as an add-on.
- Given TG uses international configured aircrafts for the chartered flights, business class seats would be the most comfortable
- All TG chartered flights would not receive any Royal Orchid Plus miles.
- Both DM and XJ have all economy service
All the airlines offer flights to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) with Osaka Kansai International Airport (KIX) being second most popular between the countries.
Additional considerations are placed by Japanese aviation authorities to verify pilots’ capabilities and inspect aircraft airworthiness. As such, while flights would resume, passengers should expect delays or even late cancellation due to paper work and inspections.
The Thai authorities will establish two new organizations – the National Civil Aviation Institute and the Air Transport Department – to oversee the country’s aviation sector and its airports and infrastructure respectively. They have 90 days (prior to June 2) to address and resolve all the safety concerns noted by the ICAO audit’s or be subject to a downgrade to Category 2 as noted in our earlier post.
Update – April 8, 2015
NokScoot announced it has cancelled all charter flights to both Japan and South Korea until April 27, 2015 pending additional operational evaluations from the authorities. More than 20,000 passengers would be affected. Follow this link for the latest and refund procedures.