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Nepal moves to remove airline ban from EU

19MAR Nepal EUThe Nepali government has submitted documents to the European Union confirming the air safety improvements that they have made in the hopes of getting Nepali airlines, removed from the blacklist of the European Commission.

The documents were prepared by the Tourism Ministry and were subsequently handed to Rensje Teerink, the European Union Ambassador to Nepal, by Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi.

Nepal is looking to have the blanket ban placed on all its airlines from flying into the 28-nation bloc lifted.

The United Nations aviation watchdog had tagged Nepali airlines as a Serious Safety Concern (SSC) after giving a red tag on its “operations” – one of the eight critical elements of safety oversight, due to the large number of aircraft accidents and incidents between 2009 and 2012 when there were at least two passenger aircraft crashes annually.

Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat had asked EC President Jean-Claude Juncker to remove Nepali airlines from its air safety list during their meeting in Brussels, stating that Nepal had already made significant progress in aviation safety.

Juncker said that they would look into the matter after receiving the information sent by the Nepali government.

Teerink said that the documents will soon reach the EC. He expressed the utmost confidence that Nepal won’t be on the black list soon, which would help boost the country’s tourism.

“Removal of Nepali airlines from the blacklist will significantly contribute to the growth of Nepal’s tourism”, he said.

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