Sudan Airways grounded

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sudanese flag carrier Sudan Airways has been grounded by the Sudanese Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The airline's Air Operators Certificate will be revoked starting from Monday.

CAA director of safety and flight operations Mohamed Hassan al-Mujammar said that the grounding was not directly connected to the crash of Sudan Airways Flight 109 at Khartoum International Airport, which has 30 confirmed fatalities. However, he did say that the airline said it was unable to make urgent improvements suggested by the CAA in a safety audit last month because they were too preocupied with dealing with the disaster's aftermath.

"It is high time to stop this type of non-compliance with international standards," said Mujammar.

Sudan Airways now has one month in which to appeal the decision or make the requested improvements. The airline had prevously complained of trouble acquiring spare parts and pilot training because of sanctions imposed by the United States on Sudan. The airline says even parts for European-manufactured Airbus planes are affected.

The airline operates mainly routes in the Middle East and the Gulf.