T'Way, Eastar obtain permit extension on Seoul-Bangkok route

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Thailand has renewed the temporary permits of two South Korean low-cost carriers, allowing them to continue daily services on the Seoul Incheon-Bangkok Suvarnabhumi route.

The extension allows T'Way Airlines and Eastar Jet to continue operating daily services on the route using Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 189 seats until 30 March 2013, says a Thai Department of Civil Aviation spokesman.

There was some doubt as to whether the permits would be extended beyond their original expiry date of 28 October 2012, because Thailand has yet to win more fifth freedom rights from South Korea on the Seoul Incheon-Los Angeles route.

Flag carrier Thai Airways uses 777 aircraft with 315 seats four times a week on the Seoul Incheon route - the maximum allowed under the two countries' bilateral air traffic agreement. Thailand wants to increase this by three flights a week, allowing Thai to operate daily on the route.

The spokesman says representatives of the two countries will meet in February next year to discuss the bilateral treaty.

The spokesman adds that Thailand extended the licences of T'Way and Eastar because of the tourism revenue the two carriers bring into the country.