EU keeps Thai airlines off safety blacklist pending upgrades

BANGKOK: European aviation authorities have decided not to place restrictions on Thai airlines operating in Europe, saying they are convinced that Thai authorities are committed to rectifying safety shortcomings cited by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

A European Union announcement Thursday said the European Commission made the decision based on the commitment and efforts of Thai authorities at the highest level to address ICAO's concerns.

In June, ICAO added Thailand to a list of 12 other nations found deficient in managing their airlines. An ICAO spokesman said at the time its main concern was Thailand's ability to conduct air operator certifications.

Last week the US Federal Aviation Administration downgraded Thailand's aviation safety rating to "category 2," barring Thai airlines from establishing new services to the United States.