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Tue, Jun 24, 2008

To Suspend Or Not To Suspend: Is That The Question?

Sudan Airways, Slated For Grounding, Allowed To Continue Operations

Slated to begin a two-week suspension Monday by the Sudan Civil Aviation Authority, Sudan Airways was given a last minute reprieve by the government leaving many to wonder if the airline was truly safe to fly.

The airline is still recovering from the crash of one of its flights two weeks ago in Khartoum, killing 30 people. Reuters adds the 60-year old airline has a poor air safety record, especially on domestic flights... and many believed the suspension was needed for the sake of air traveler safety.

The Civil Aviation Authority contends the suspension was not related to the crash, but was due to administrative failures such as not updating operations manuals.

"Last night (Sudan Airways) appealed to the director general of the Civil Aviation Authority and they have been granted a resumption on the condition that after two weeks the company will face another audit," said CAA spokesman Abdel Hafiz Abdel Rahim.

The reprieve from CAA Director-General Abu Bakr Jaafar came only hours before the suspension was slated to begin.  It should be noted Jaafar sits on the board of directors of the airline, but the CAA says he holds no shares in the company.

CAA Spokesman Abdel Rahim said a new decision would be taken on the airlines status if the airline did not pass the audit in two weeks time.
The reprieve outraged many in Sudan who had welcomed the suspension. One travel agent who declined to be named described the CAA reprieve as "irresponsible".

"How can we feel safe on the planes now?" asked traveller Salah Abdallah.

FMI: www.sudanair.com

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