Thai AirAsia should reach a target of 14.5 million passengers this year as it takes delivery of five new aircraft to bring its fleet strength to 45 by year-end.
Airline CEO, Tassapon Bijleveld, said the International Civil Aviation Organisation negative audit on the Department of Civil Aviation’s supervision of local airlines would not impact to Thai AirAsia flights.
“ICAO’s discovery of a Significant Safety Concern (SSC) during its audit of the Department of Civil Aviation, does not reflect on the safety or operational standards of Thai AirAsia.”
He added: “The situation will not impact on the company’s 2015 target that includes maintaining a load factor of 83% and increasing passenger traffic to 14.5 million.”
Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation is expected to remedy its shortcomings by July, and is now providing ICAO with updates twice monthly. It faces intense scrutiny from the country’s leaders to correct what was a very damaging appraisal.
The airline still hopes to expand services to China this October, but it will depend on whether the Chinese aviation authorities are flexible in their response to the ICAO audit.
Thai AirAsia X flies from Bangkok to Narita (Tokyo), Kansai (Osaka) and Incheon (Seoul) and it hopes the Don Mueang-Sapporo route will be able to operate as planned from May to June if negotiations already ongoing with the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau are successful.
In 2014, the airline carried 12.2 million passengers with 80% of average load factor.