Turkmenistan Airlines banned from flying to and from the EU

The carrier has been pending confirmation regarding safety standards

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has blacklisted Turkmenistan Airlines. According to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the carrier has been “pending confirmation that it meets international air safety standards”.

For years, the budget flag carrier of Turkmenistan has been offering cheap flight connections between London Heathrow and Birmingham and the Indian cities of Delhi and Amritsar.

The Monday afternoon flight to Birmingham and all subsequent operations have been cancelled following the recent ban. The route will reopen once it is lifted or in the case that the UK is no longer governed by EASA decisions.

The FCO estimates that some 5,000 British passengers are in India awaiting their flights to Britain. “Affected passengers are advised to contact Turkmenistan Airlines to seek advice,” the FCO note said.

A Boeing 757, part of the Turkmenistan Airlines fleet — photomatika / Shutterstock Turkmenistan Airlines banned from flying to and from the EU
A Boeing 757, part of the Turkmenistan Airlines fleet — photomatika / Shutterstock

Turkmenistan Airlines began operations in 1992 after the dissolution of the USSR. Up to this day, it has never suffered a fatal accident. One of its oldest aircraft, a Boeing 757, has been in service for 27 years.

The flights to and from Delhi and Amritsar connect through Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. Flights connecting Ashgabat with Frankfurt and Paris have also been grounded.

Turkmenistan Airlines is not the first carrier the EU has banned. The European commission keeps a list of airlines restricted from flying to the Union, with most of the listed carriers failing to meet the regulatory oversight standards of the EU.