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Kazakhstan bans foreign charter flights from Kazakhstan starting July 21

July 17 2013, 12:14

@AFP@AFP

Kazakhstan will banning foreign charter flights starting from July 21, 2013, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the Civil Aviation Commission of Kazakhstan Ministry of Transport and Communications. According to the Commission’s chairman Serik Mukhtybayev, the new regulation is called to provide greater guarantees to the passengers and ensure proper control over the flights safety.

The ban does not mean that foreign charter companies will not be able to fly to Kazakhstan, Mukhtybayev said. It only applies to charter flights from Kazakhstan

“They can transform their once-charter flights to regular flights. To do so they will need to sign addenda to their inter-government agreement. Amid mutual agreement, this procedure doesn't take long,” the official said. He also explained the difference between charter and regular flights. “In case of charter flights the airline does not bear any liability to the passengers, as it signs the contract directly with the tour agency that arranges the charter. As a result, it is hard to keep anyone accountable in bases when persons cannot fly back home in time due to a failure at one of the stages of the chartering operation. As for the regular flights, the airline’s liability is defined at the state level and is governed by the inter-government agreement between the countries, and their flights schedule is approved by the aviation authorities,” Mukhtybayev said.

Back in June around 1,000 Kazakhstan tourists got stuck in Turkey because of the bankruptcy of Sky Airlines. Transportation of tourists was organized at the cost of Kazakhstan state budget.

“We sent a telegram to Turkish aviation authorities requesting to explain the incident. However, there have been no answer so far,” Mukhtybayev said. According to him, similar situations when tour agencies and airlines do not perform their obligations to each other happen almost every year. As a result, both the companies and the passengers get challenged. This fact and the lack of capacities to bring the foreign company to liability in such cases have trigered adoption of this regulation.

According to the Ministry, Russia has a similar ban on foreign charter flights. Kazakhstan Law banning foreign carriers from performing charter flights from Kazakhstan comes into effect on July 21, 10 days after its official release in the media.

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