Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sudan Airways Grounded

Sudan Airways logoThe Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Sudan has announced that it is suspending the Air Operator Certificate of Sudan Airways, effective from Monday, June 23, 2008. The suspension is for "an undefined period," and applies to both domestic and international operations of Sudan's national flag carrier.

Although the suspension comes less than two weeks after the crash of a Sudan Airways A310 at Khartoum, a CAA official quoted in several news reports said that the accident was not the CAA's reason for grounding Sudan Airways. Instead, the suspension is due to the carrier's failure "to undertake measures outlined by the CAA in an annual audit carried out in May of this year," said Mohamed Hassan al-Mujammar, director of safety and flight operations for Sudan's CAA. The nature of the airline's deficiencies were not specified, but a BBC News article, quoting Mr. Mujammar, cited "non-compliance with international standards."

The BBC News article reported that Sudan Airways has one month to appeal against the suspension or to carry out the necessary improvements. An article on the South African news website IOL mentioned that "the airline could be grounded permanently, if it does not comply with international security standards."