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Safety, training behind Siem Reap flight ban: EC

Safety, training behind Siem Reap flight ban: EC

SAFETY problems, insufficient training and a lack documentation were behind the European Union's decision to blacklist Siem Reap Airways, Rafael Dochao Moreno, charge d'affaires for the European Commission, said last week.

He added that he hoped the ban on the airline flying to EU countries could be lifted by February 2009 pending a re-evaluation of its performance.

Although Siem Reap Airways currently has no routes to Europe, the EC implemented the ban last month amid concerns for its safety record after talks with Cambodian aviation officials, Moreno said Thursday.

The airline, which is owned by Bangkok Airways and primarily flies between Phnom Penh and the Angkor temple town of Siem Reap, was subsequently grounded on November 20 by the Cambodian Aviation Secretariat. Moreno said that the EU will provide technicians to the help country's aviation sector.  

The ban marks the first time a Cambodian carrier has been blacklisted, and is seen as a major setback for Cambodia's aviation industry. 

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