American expats, rejoice! After years of wasteland with no direct flights between Thailand and America, Thai Airways International have announced their plans to launch a new route between Bangkok and the West Coast of the US in 2017.
It’s likely that Seattle or San Francisco will be the destination city, according to Thai Airways president Charamporn Jotikasthira.
The Thai national flag carrier has been proactive over the last year in bringing itself up to international safety compliance standards, reports The Nation, and the country’s airlines have since seen their ban from the International Civil Aviation Organisation lifted.
Before a new Thailand-US route can be launched, however, Thailand’s Civil Aviation Department must first be upgraded to Category 1 on the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) list.
Thailand was assigned to Category 2 by the FAA in December 2015 after the country was found not to comply with International Civil Aviation Organisation safety standards.
The Kingdom had before then enjoyed Category 1 status since 1997 before concerns regarding Thailand’s ability to supervise the growth of the country’s aviation industry became apparent. A country’s air carriers can only establish service to the US with a Category 1 rating.
Thai Airways were seemingly sanguine at the news last year, claiming that FAA’s decision would have no commercial impact as they had ceased all flights to the US earlier in 2015. It seems as though they have been working hard behind the scenes since then, as they now feel confident enough to propose this new route to the US authorities.
In the meantime, Thai airways are hoping to establish a Tehran route later this year and add additional flights to Moscow to its roster, reports Bangkok Post.
Flights to the Russian capital will be increased to 7 a week, up from the current 4.
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