UK suspends Turkmenistan Airlines flights affecting India travellers


ASHGABAT (TCA) — The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) confirmed in a note on February 4 that Turkmenistan Airlines was banned from flying to and from the EU pending the decision over the safety standards, Sputnik news agency reported.

The UK Foreign Office said that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had suspended Turkmenistan Airlines flights to and from the EU pending confirmation that it meets international air safety standards. This, in particular, will affect travellers from and to the UK and India, as the above decision means that Turkmenistan Airlines flights from Amritsar to Birmingham and Heathrow, and New Delhi to Heathrow, which fly via the Turkmen capital Ashgabat, do not have permission to continue their route from Ashgabat to Birmingham and Heathrow.

Turkmenistan, located in Central Asia, provides for a convenient base for connecting flights to India, a popular destination among travellers from Britain.

According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), 800,000 passengers travel to India, the world’s second most populous country, every year.

Affected passengers were advised to contact Turkmenistan Airlines to seek advice, as the flights won’t be resumed until the ban is lifted or the UK ceases to be governed by EASA decisions.

The EU Air Safety List actually contains two lists. The first list (Annex A) includes all airlines banned from operating in Europe. The second list (Annex B) includes airlines that are restricted from operating under certain conditions in Europe. Both lists are updated regularly and published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Before taking any action based on the information in these lists, all users should ensure they have the latest version.

Sergey Kwan