European Union lifts Air Astana operating restrictions

European Union lifts Air Astana operating restrictions

Air Astana has officially been removed from a list of airlines that have faced operating restrictions in the European Union.

In July 2009 all carriers of Kazakhstan were banned from operating to Europe while Air Astana was the only exception.

The EU’s Air Safety Committee had recognised that Air Astana’s safety standards were fully compliant with the international standards and establish a system for safe flights, but had imposed a cap on the airline’s existing number of services to the EU at the time. 

Those restrictions were lifted in February 2014, enabling the airline to expand its European route network. 

Earlier this year Paris was added to its European route network, joining London Heathrow, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

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The publication of a new EU Safety List coincides with the EC’s adoption of its new Aviation Strategy for Europe. 

The list is essential to guarantee the highest level of air safety for European citizens, which is a priority of the Commission. 

EU commissioner for transport Violeta Bulc said: “Offering the highest level of air safety to European citizens is a priority of the Commission. 

“I am satisfied that we were able to clear Air Astana after six years of work.

“In the interest of European citizens, we are however forced to maintain other Kazakh carriers on the list.”