THAILAND: Phuket Air expects to resume its Bangkok-Amsterdam service within days, following a ban of the service by the Dutch civil aviation authorities after it was discovered that an aircraft serving the route had a faulty emergency lighting system and a Phuket Air pilot was found not to have a necessary medical certificate.
Sribenja Semmeesook, Communication Consultant of Aziam Burson-Marsteller, the public relations agency for Phuket Air, told the Gazette this evening that Phuket Air board members met today with the Thai Department of Aviation to try to resolve the problems and resume service as quickly as possible.
“The reason they suspended the [Bangkok-Amsterdam] service is still not clear, whether it was because of the emergency lighting or because the pilot did not have the required medical certificate, or both,” K. Sribenja said.
“There was no need to order the suspension because of the problem with the emergency lighting. It was not a major problem. Only one of the emergency lights [in a series] was not working, and we have fixed that already.
“Regarding our Filipino pilot, I think it was a misunderstanding between him and the Dutch civil aviation authorities. We are clarifying this with the Dutch [authorities] now,” she said.
K. Sribenja explained that the problem seemed to be that the pilot had a current medical certificate from the Philippines but that the Dutch civil aviation authorities did not accept it as comprehensive enough.
“We are clearing this now, but we need a few days because we have to [conduct a conversation] between three countries: the Netherlands, the Philippines and Thailand,” she said.
“I think we will receive permission to [resume the service] soon,” she added. “I think we will be able to clear everything tomorrow on what is required and what has been misunderstood.”
During the suspension, Phuket Air passengers with tickets for the Bangkok-Amsterdam service are being transfered to Thai Airways International and Singapore Airlines flights.
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