Onur Air Resumes Flights To Europe

May 25, 2005

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Turkish airline Onur Air has resumed flights to the European countries that withdrew its landing rights two weeks ago amid safety concerns, the privately owned carrier said on Wednesday.

Germany's aviation authorities are allowing two flights a day to Dusseldorf until next Sunday, and France, Switzerland and the Netherlands have reinstated full landing rights, the airline said.

"Onur Air flights to the Netherlands, France and Switzerland have been relaunched without any restrictions," Onur Air said in a statement.

Germany will reinstate full flying rights from May 30 if it hears no complaints between now and Sunday, Germany's Federal Aviation Authority said in a statement late on Tuesday.

The Dutch Transport Ministry said in a statement the Netherlands reinstated Onur's landing rights on Tuesday.

"The proposals for improvement have restored sufficient confidence in Onur Air for the inspectors," the ministry said.

Onur Air, a low-fare challenger to state-owned Turkish Airlines and other established foreign airlines, has been flying since 1992. It has 26 planes: five Boeings and 21 Airbuses.

Turkey is a major leisure destination for Europeans, and May marks the start of the main tourist season.

The Netherlands and Germany temporarily withdrew landing rights from the airline on May 12, saying Onur's planes were unsafe. France and Switzerland also imposed a ban on the airline.

Turkish Transport Minister Binali Yildirim on Tuesday said in Moscow, where he was attending a gathering of European transport ministers, that he had agreed with French, Swiss, German and Dutch ministers to remove the ban on Onur Air.

The airline says it transports 1.4 million passengers a year, including 350,000 from the Netherlands. It makes 300 flights a week to Europe, including 75 to the Netherlands.

(Reuters)