ROUTES CIS: Kazakhstan Takes Strong Stance with Airlines

The Kazakhstan Ministry of Transport and Communications has revoked the operating licences of three of the countries air carriers and placed a suspension order on five other carriers warning that they too could lose their operating certificates should not meet all their operating requirements.  This strong stance follows the introduction of a complete review of the country’s aviation sector earlier this year.

“As a result of the re-certification held by the Civil Aviation Committee of Kazakhstan Ministry of Transport and Communications and ICAO, the aviation activities certificates were recalled from DETA Air, MEGA Aircompany and KazAir West companies,” according to an official statement from the Ministry.  The decision was made because of the companies’ non-compliance with certification requirements.

DETA Air was established in 2003 and until the grounding provided cargo operations with two McDonnell Douglas DC-10-40Fs serving destinations in the CIS, Hong Kong in Asia and Istanbul in Europe.  The carrier also provided passenger charter services with a Boeing 737-500 and three Ilyushin Il-62s but these were retired over the past two years.  Mega Aircompany had provided charter services linking Almaty with Baku in Azerbaijan and Tbilisi in Georgia using a single Boeing 727-200.

Meanwhile, KazAir West, which launched operations in 1996 with foreign participation from US company Cliftondale Aviation, suspended operations in October 2010 due to concerns over its maintenance standards.  The carrier had operated flights from Atyrau, formerly known as Guryev up until 1991, is located at the mouth of the Ural River in the west of the country.

Alongside these three airlines, the Kazakhstan Ministry of Transport and Communications says the licences of Samal Air, Asia Continental Airlines, Euro-Asia International, Semeiavia and Irtysh-Air could be revoked with effect from August 1, 2013 should they fail to overcome state concerns.  According to a ministry statement “significant violations were found during the certification check, in particular, lack of the required staff, flight documents and engineering-technical coverage.”

The re-certification process of the country’s airlines and commercial aircraft started in March 2013 and to date 32 airlines, 29 maintenance companies and 73 aircraft have been approved for continued flight operations.

As part of this process to enhance the local industry, the Ministry has also confirmed it will ban all foreign charter flights from the country from July 21, 2013.  According to the Commission’s chairman Serik Mukhtybayev, the new regulation will provide greater guarantees to the passengers and ensure proper control over the flights safety.  This ban relates to outbound charters and has been devised to support a transition from charter to a scheduled basis.

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