The EC took the decision mainly because of the rising frequency of air mishap and the inertness of the aviation service regulator to make the Nepali skies safe.
In a statement issued today, EC vice-president responsible for transport Siim Kallas, said, “The safety situation in Nepal does not leave us any other choice but to put all of its carriers on the EU air safety list.”
This effectively means that Nepali carriers are ‘prevented from flying into or within the EU’. The EC decision raises serious question on Nepal’s air safety standard.
The decision, however, won’t make any impact on Nepali airlines as not a single Nepali carrier is flying to Europe at present. But the EC has also requested Europeans to avoid making flights operated by Nepali carriers. This may leave Nepali airlines in a serious problem.
Euopean operators and travel agents will need to inform European travellers, who will have a right to reimbursement if they had booked a seat on a Nepali carrier as part of a journey to Nepal, and decide not to use it,” the statement added.
The country has seen about 70 domestic air accidents since 1960 killing around 300 people, according to the statistics of the Airlines Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) – the umbrella body of private carriers operating in the country.
Officials of Civil Aviation Authority Nepal (CAAN) and private airlines operators have flouted the EC’s call for reasons behind series of air accidents in Nepal and quality of air safety standards adopted by the country twice.
“We do hope that this ban will help the aviation authorities to improve aviation safety. I have already asked the European Aviation Safety Agency to prepare an aviation safety assistance project for Nepal,” Kallas said in the statement.