National airline of Turkmenistan asks for help over safety improvements

Turkmenistan Airlines Turkmenistan Airlines’ all-Boeing passenger fleet consists of 20 aircraft, such as the B737, 757 and 777 (Turkmenistan Airlines)

Turkmenistan Airlines has commissioned Lufthansa Consulting to help the central Asian country’s flag carrier raise its safety performance levels to satisfy the Third Country Operators (TCO) EU Safety Authorisations for foreign air operators – known as the EASA TCO qualification.

The airline experienced difficulties in satisfying the relevant EASA requirements and, for safety reasons, was barred from flying to and from European Union (EU) destinations.

Aware of the need for immediate action, the operator has been treating these matters with due seriousness – and has decided to call in the German aviation experts to review the existing situation and develop a corrective procedural action plan. The consultants are currently evaluating Turkmenistan Airlines’ EASA status in order to prepare a customised action scheme that will be developed to fall in line with the EASA TCO requirements and findings, the German consultancy reveals.

In the meantime, as an interim flight continuity solution, Spanish ACMI services provider Wamos Air has been operating some services from the UK on behalf of Turkmenistan Airlines that had been successfully operating flights linking London Heathrow and Birmingham with Amritsar and New Delhi in India, via Ashgabat. The services between Heathrow and Ashgabat, as well as the flights from Birmingham, offered affordable connections to Indian destinations and have been especially popular with British citizens of Punjabi origins. The airline has also been flying directly to Frankfurt and Paris from the central Asian country’s capital.

Turkmenistan Airlines is the national airline of Turkmenistan and is headquartered at Ashgabat, the country’s capital. It operates domestic and international passenger and cargo services mainly from its Ashgabat International Airport hub. The airline transports more than 5,000 passengers daily within the country – reaching a combined total of nearly three million passengers annually on its international and domestic routes. Its passenger fleet consists of 20 western-built aircraft, such as the Boeing 737, 757 and 777, as well as a cargo fleet of Ilyushin IL-76s. The airline is also planning to add the newest Boeing 737MAX-7s.

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