A ban for Turkmen Airlines from flying to Europe: ORIENT investigation

A ban for Turkmen Airlines from flying to Europe: ORIENT investigation

Since February 4, Internet news broadcasts have flashed messages on the subject “The European Aviation Safety Agency has suspended flights of Turkmen airlines to the European Union.” The corresponding notice with reference to the European Commission was published on the portal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom.

ORIENT decided to conduct its own investigation and find out the real reasons for the suspension of Turkmen flights to the EU. We were able to talk with officials representing the Turkmen Airlines Open Joint-Stock Company and find out that there are some discrepancies in the American and European systems that define the requirements and standards for the operation of aircraft.

ORIENT also had a copy of a letter sent by Patrick Key, Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to Turkmen Airlines CJSC, dated January 31, 2019. The letter says that the permission to fly for a Turkmen company issued by the agency in 2015 will be suspended since February 4, 2019, and that it (the permit) can be reinstated as soon as EASA is satisfied that appropriate measures have been taken.

At the same time, there are no complaints about the Boeing of the Turkmen airlines, they fully comply with the EASA standards, as well as their maintenance. This is also confirmed by foreign consulting companies that the Turkmen air carrier turned to check its fleet, which is constantly being updated: the old Boeings (2003-2004) are sold, new ones are bought. For example, the most recent acquisition was the Boeing 737-700 in February 2018.

Since the Turkmen civilian air fleet consists exclusively of American “Boeing” (currently there are 20), it is logical that the American system of such standards was adopted as the national carrier. According to it all the technical characteristics and history of the aircraft is recorded from the date of its purchase from the manufacturer. According to the European system, the same thing should be done, but from the production of the aircraft at the factory.

That is, now Turkmenistan Airlines CJSC will only needs to supplement the documentation on its Boeings with the information necessary to comply with the European system.

We emphasize: just this …

However, the notification of the European Aviation Safety Agency about the suspension of flights of Turkmen airlines to the European Union has already given occasion to some biased authors to explicit and implicit insinuations in the subsequent publications with the juggling of the word “safety”.

At the same time, little attention was paid to the clarification of EASA – “pending confirmation of safety standards”.

That is, the whole problem, as ORIENT found out, is not in the claims on technical issues of aircraft safety, but in paper registration, which is customary in Europe.

At present, Turkmen Airlines CJSC has hired a Spanish company to transport passengers on flights on which Turkmen Boeings will not fly temporarily, and to fully resolve the issue and harmonize all procedures, an agreement has been reached with Lufthansa Consulting, whose experts arrive in Ashgabat.