Air Manas, a private Kyrgyz carrier, has now been successfully registered as an IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) certified airline.
The accreditation is seen as an important step on the flight path for Kyrgyzstan’s airlines in their bid to be removed from the list of air carriers banned by the European Union.
The IATA Operational Safety Audit program is an internationally accepted evaluation process, which assesses the operational management and control systems of an airline. “This event was an act of acknowledgement of Air Manas’s high standards in safety, which meet the strictest and most advanced requirements,” says the airline’s statement.
Air Manas is the first Kyrgyz carrier to receive IOSA certification. According to deputy CEO Daniyar Arynov, the carrier is looking to eventually become a member of airline association IATA.
Air Manas, along with other Kyrgyzstan airlines, is currently blacklisted by the European Commission. There are, however, hopeful expectations in the country that local airlines may be allowed to fly to EU destinations from 2019.
Says CEO Talgat Nurbaev: “Completing the IOSA audit process testifies to the company’s high level of development and, of course, is an indicator of [improved] aviation security and flight safety.
“International acknowledgement of the company’s safe practices ensures a totally different status for air carriers operating in both domestic and international markets.”
Not all airlines are able to satisfy the IOSA audit, which can be a lengthy, difficult and costly process. “It’s a real test of strength, team cohesion, seriousness, and long-term intentions, as well as a responsible commitment to continuing with a given high level of safety, not by chance but constantly,” Nurbaev points out.
“Because the auditing process is not a one-time action, it needs to be held every two years.”
The airline recognizes that international acknowledgement brings with it the simplicity of integration with other airlines and aviation structures, and also creates opportunities to conclude code-sharing and interline agreements with almost any airlines in the world.
IOSA certification also means more affordable leasing costs, a factor which, in turn, may boost an increase in aircraft fleets, with the possibility of replenishment with the most modern aircraft. Air Manas currently operates a Boeing 737-400 and a 737-800.
Furthermore, expanding the geography and the frequencies of flights is a logical subsequent development of these changes, a vital aspect considering Air Manas’s low-cost business strategy. “It is safe to say that flights will become even more affordable,” Nurbaev insists.
Turkey’s low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines owns 49% of Air Manas.
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