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24 Jun 2008 10:10
Sudan has granted its national carrier a last-minute reprieve from suspension, giving it two weeks to comply with airline regulations, an aviation official said on Monday.
Sudan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said last week that the suspension, due to begin on Monday, was not related to a Sudan Airways crash two weeks ago but was due to administrative failures such as not updating operations manuals.
“Last night [Sudan Airways] appealed to the director general of the CAA and they have been granted a resumption on the condition that after two weeks the company will face another audit,” said CAA spokesperson Abdel Hafiz Abdel Rahim.
CAA director general Abu Bakr Jaafar granted the reprieve just hours before the suspension was due to begin. Jaafar is on the board of directors of Sudan Airways, but the CAA says he has no shares in the company.
The CAA’s head of safety and flight operations, Mohamed Hassan al-Mujammar, had told Reuters the airline would not be allowed to resume operations until another CAA audit had taken place.
He had said the suspension would affect the airline’s domestic and international flights.
Abdel Rahim said that if the airline did not pass the audit in two weeks, a new decision would be taken on its status.
Many Sudanese who had welcomed the suspension just two weeks after the crashthat killed 30 at Khartoum airport, were outraged.
One travel agent, who declined to be named, described the reprieve as “irresponsible”.
“How can we feel safe on the planes now?” asked traveller Salah Abdallah.
Sudan has a poor air safety record, especially on domestic flights.
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