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NEWS UPDATES 6 July 2009

EU to lift flight ban on four Indonesian airlines

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The flight ban imposed by the European Union on Indonesian airline companies in 2007 will be lifted for four of them in the first half of 2010, reported national news agency Antara.

The four airline companies to be allowed to fly to Europe again on the basis of a recommendation made by the EU Air Safety Committee are Garuda Indonesia, Mandala, AirFast and Premi Air.

Garuda Indonesia would resume flights to Europe in the first half of 2010, Garuda Communications Chief Pujobroto said on Saturday in response to the decision of the EU Air Safety Committee at its three-day meeting which ended in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday.

One of the decisions was recommending the lifting of the EU flight ban on Garuda Indonesia, Mandala, AirFast and Premi Air.

The decisions will formally be issued nearly two weeks after being translated into 22 EU official languages and signed by the board of commissioners for transportation affairs.

Pujobroto said Garuda positively welcomed the decision and would resume its flights to Europe particularly to Amsterdam in the first phase.

It would take nearly nine months for the national flag carrier to make preparations for flight resumption, he said.

He said Garuda was still undecided about the types of planes to be used in the resumed European flights.

"But as an alternative, the planes to be operated can be A 330-200s. Therefore, we need one stopover or cannot serve a direct flight," he said.

If all the 10 Boeing 777s ordered by Garuda were to be delivered nearly in late 2010 or early 2011, it would serve non-stop flights to a number of European cities, he said.

One-and-half years have gone by since the European Union (EU) in July 2007 imposed a flight ban on all Indonesian airline companies to fly to Europe following a series of fatal air accidents.


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