Air Astana says it is forced to cancel Astana-Ulaanbaatar flights

ASTANA. KAZINFORM Kazakhstan's flagship airline Air Astana cancels Astana-Ulaanbaatar flight since June 2, 2016.

“We regret to inform you that our company has to cancel flights between the capital cities of Kazakhstan and Mongolia since June 2, 2016, because of unjustified withdraw of permission by aviation authorities of Mongolia. The intergovernmental agreement on air transportations between Kazakhstan and Mongolia was signed in 1992. In 2014, the countries inked a memorandum on launching flights. The documents ensure legal framework for both sides’ airline companies.

Eight months prior to the first flight, Air Astana started to submit all the required documents to Mongolian side. Normally, the procedure lasts for 2 months. The Kazakh airline company successfully passed an audit by the Mongolian civil aviation authorities and did not receive any complaint. In March 2016, the aviation authorities of Mongolia officially permitted Air Astana to operate flights, but withdraw the license in April 2016. As per the agreement on air transportations, there can be only three reasons for such an action. However, none of them are applicable to Air Astana.

Despite the efforts taken by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Ministry of Industry and Development of Kazakhstan as well as Air Astana management, Mongolian side has not reviewed its decision referring to a number of groundless and changing reasons. “Among them is the audit, which Air Astana passed without any remark. Another reason was the temporary closure of the Ulaanbaatar Airport for the oncoming Asia-Europe forums scheduled for July 2016. The third reason is an unreliable “black list” from ICAO,” a press release from the company reads.

The intergovernmental agreement on air transportations was signed based on 1944 Chicago Convention of the International Civil Aviation Organization. Kazakh side believes that Mongolia violates the provisions of the Chicago Convention and announced it is going to send an official request to the ICAO Council.

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