Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that it was a pride of Thailand and a significant turning point for the country’s aviation industry after concerted efforts boosted confidence in Thai airlines and a plan for the nation as a regional aviation hub.

“The fact that ICAO have lifted the red-flag it once issued Thailand shows their trust in us and the global community’s faith in Thailand’s aviation industry”, the prime minister said. The downgrade signified that Thailand’s civil aviation authority is deficient in one or more critical areas or that the country lacks laws and regulations needed to oversee airlines in line with global standards, while also barring Thai airlines from establishing new services to the United States.

ICAO lifted the red flag issued to Thailand after it was discussed at a Friday meeting, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand said in a Monday statement on its website.

Thailand was downgraded in June 2015 after missing a deadline to resolve significant safety concerns, meaning that airlines in Thailand were unable to add further routes, though they could continue to operate routine flights.

He said his government “systematically and concretely” solved long-standing problems concerning aviation safety standards. The FAA also downgraded Thailand in 2015.

Starting with the biggest carriers, the CAAT had managed to re-issue air operator’s certificates (AOCs) to nine airlines by September this year.

ICAO has lifted a safety red flag imposed on Thai carriers, AFP (Agence France-Presse) reported, a move expected to bring relief to the country’s aviation sector.

In 2015, Thailand was penalised by ICAO over the inadequate safety oversight of Thai registered carriers.

On the other hand, millions of tourists travel each year to Thailand, where at regional level operate low-priced companies and other important ones like Thai Airways. “These airlines can now grow more aggressively”.

Asia Plus Securities expects Thai Airways International Plc with its plans for more routes in Japan, South Korea and the United States to see the highest gain, followed by Nok Air which plans to expand its routes in Japan and South Korea. Shares in Asia Aviation, which operates as Thai Air Asia, rose as much as 5 percent and later traded up almost 4 percent.