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May 30, 2008

INDONESIA/AVIATION
Garuda to ask EU to lift flight ban

Garuda Indonesia will again lobby the European Union (EU) to lift its ban for the national flag carrier to fly to the continent, reported Antara news agency.

"We will write a letter to the EU so at its next meeting in July it will consider our proposal for the lifting of its ban on Garuda to fly to Europe," Garuda President Director Emirsyah Satar said on Thursday.

The move came after Garuda has passed an IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) allowing it to serve as an IOSA operator.

Garuda which is the first airline company in Indonesia is one of the 203 International Air Transport Association (IATA) members passing the audit. The association now has 231 members.

Now that Garuda has passed the IOSA, EU has no reason to ban Garuda from flying to Europe for safety reasons, Emirsyah said.

"Indeed, the global recognition through the IATA has nothing to do whatsoever with EU. But the IOSA certificate has at least put Garuda on a par with major airlines in the world," he said. But these all will depend on EU to decide, he said.


Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal said Garuda is one of the four Indonesian airline companies the government has proposed to EU to have their flight ban lifted.

EU has banned all Indonesian airlines from flying to the continent since July last year.



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