Business Air (Thailand) (8B, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi) last week secured an order from a Thai Administrative Court permitting it to resume operations while another case concerning a dispute with air traffic control and aeronautical communication services provider, Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (Aerothai), over unpaid debts is resolved.

The Thai Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) revoked the carrier's Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) earlier this month when the dispute with Aerothai, said to amount to THB1 billion (USD30.7 million), came to light. However, during the hearing last week, the airline proved that it had acted in good faith by clearing debt worth THB1.66 million (USD51,030) with Aerothai on January 15.

Though Business Air's operational status-quo does not conform with local regulations in that only one out of three of its registered aircraft - all B767-300(ER)s - is currently airworthy, the DCA, Aerothai and Business Air agreed in December to allow Business Air to continue operations provided it had a proper contingency plan. Thai law calls for a scheduled carrier to operate at least two airworthy aircraft.

"Business Air now has the right to operate flights as permitted by the court, but as for the approval of its flight timetable, DCA still has to consider its readiness and aviation safety as a key factor," the DCA director-general, Somchai Piputvat, told the Bangkok Post.