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 Afghan carriers banned from EU airspace

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Numarul mesajelor : 1926
Varsta : 38
Localizare : Bucuresti
Data de inscriere : 09/01/2010

MesajSubiect: Afghan carriers banned from EU airspace   Mier 24 Noi 2010, 11:09

Titlu: Afghan carriers banned from EU airspace
Autor: Mark Caswell
Data: 22.11.2010

Citat :
The EU Commission is to ban Afghan carriers from European airspace from tomorrow, following the government’s failure to set up a Civil Aviation Authority.

The blacklisting of all airlines registered in Afghanistan starts tomorrow (Tuesday November 23), affecting carriers including Safi Airways, which flies between Frankfurt and Kabul.

As a result of the ban Safi Airways says that it has been forced to wet lease aircraft from an unnamed company at a cost of US$500,000 per month, in order to continue European operations.

Safi says it is also “in discussions to acquire a European airline in order to bring its fleet under European aviation supervision”, which would also circumnavigate the restrictions.

In a statement CEO of Safi Airways Werner Borchert said: “It is very unfortunate Safi Airways got to know about the possible ban way too late. The German CAA has inspected Safi’s aircraft multiple times since Safi started the Frankfurt-Kabul service in June 2009. These ramp checks have contributed to the optimization of our safety standards and have never lead to an operating ban for Safi Airways. What makes this ban especially hard for us is the fact that, the EU commission has on several occasions confirmed that it does not see a safety risk in Safi’s operations.

“Operating Safi Airways as an European airline is not such a major step for us. We have always operated our services in accordance with EU standards and the Safi Group already has European subsidiaries. Our aircraft are maintained by Lufthansa Technik in Frankfurt and we employ mainly European pilots, managers and technical specialists. We wish to stress that we plan the official IOSA audit - a worldwide applied and recognized aviation standard ensuring Quality and Safety standards are consistently applied - by a renowned German agency in January 2011.”

The airline says that the Frankfurt-Kabul route is used mainly by diplomats, business travellers, employees of international aid agencies and expatriate Afghans, and that two thirds of its passengers are EU or US citizens. Safi says the route saw an 82 per cent load factor, during “the typically low season month of October”.
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