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July 27, 2008

EU not consistent with its flight ban: Indonesian ministry
The Indonesian Transportation Ministry said the European Union (EU) is not consistent in imposing a flight ban on all Indonesian airlines.

"Why did it impose a flight ban on all Indonesian airlines? Not all the Indonesian airlines are willing to fly to Europe. In fact, not all airlines from other countries are also banned from flying to the continent. So, the ban is not consistent from the standpoint of its target," the head of the ministry`s public communications center, Bambang S Ervan, said here Friday.

Citing an example, he said, only one airline from war-torn Afghanistan was banned from flying to European destinations, he said. "That is strange," he said.

The same was also true with a Kalita Air plane which had a serious accident while taking off from Brussels airport in Belgium on May 25, 2008. But EU did not impose any sanction on the American cargo plane, he said.

EU imposed the flight ban on the Indonesian airlines in July 2007, citing unsafe flights as a reason. On Thursday, EU representative Pierre Phillipe said the EU could not yet lift its flight ban on all the Indonesian airlines which it said still fell short of the flight safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Indonesia is an ICAO member.

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