Kazakh SCAT Airlines To Begin Euro Flights After Embargo Lifted
SCAT Airlines (DV, Shimkent) has announced plans to begin scheduled passenger flights to the European Union next year. The move comes after the European Commission (EC) last week removed all Kazakh carriers from its Banned Operator’s List with immediate effect.
Speaking at a press conference to mark the event in Astana last week, the Chairman of Kazakh Civil Aviation Committee (KzCAC), Beken Seidakhmetov, said that SCAT has already outlined its initial plans to the regulator.
“They are [interested in] Greece, Spain, Israel – they have big plans,” he was quoted by ABC TV. “Basically SCAT wants to fly to [Europe’s] resort areas.”
The launch of flights is, however, contingent on SCAT securing a Third Country Operator (TCO) certificate from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
In its assessment, the EC said Kazakhstan had made considerable improvements to its aviation security and safety oversight protocols culminating in it achieving an ICAO rating of 74% during a September audit. The European average is 76%.
Kazakh national carrier Air Astana (KC, Astana) was fully removed from the EC’s list in December of last year and currently serves Amsterdam, Frankfurt Int’l, London Heathrow, and Paris CDG. It had never been fully banned from operating to the European Union.