Hundreds Stranded After Airline - Which Operates Out Of Birmingham - Banned
4 February 2019, 16:07 | Updated: 4 February 2019, 16:11
Hundreds of passengers have been left stranded after a budget airline with routes between the UK and India was blacklisted by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Turkmenistan Airlines flies from Heathrow and Birmingham to Delhi and Amritsar via Ashgabat.
According to a Foreign Office notice to travellers from India, the airline has been banned from flying to or from the EU pending confirmation that it meets international air safety standards.
A UK Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said: "Following the decision on February 4 2019, by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to suspend permission for Turkmenistan Airlines to operate services to the European Union, Turkmenistan Airline flights from Birmingham and Heathrow to Amritsar, and Heathrow to New Delhi - which fly via Ashgabat - are suspended with immediate effect.
"The UK Civil Aviation Authority is required under European law to withdraw Turkmenistan Airlines' permit to operate to the UK pending EASA's restoration of their approval that it meets international air safety standards."
The airline operates five flights a week from Birmingham and one flight from London Heathrow to Ashgabat. The majority of passengers flying from Britain take connecting flights to India.
The Foreign Office said: "Turkmenistan Airlines flights between the UK (London Heathrow and Birmingham) and Turkmenistan (Ashgabat), do not have permission to travel to and from the UK.
"Affected passengers are advised to contact Turkmenistan Airlines to seek advice."
Turkmenistan Airlines is popular among Britain's Sikh population, with connections to Amritsar, location of the Golden Temple.
Flights linking Ashgabat with Frankfurt and Paris have also been grounded.