(Corrects para 3 to show still owned by fund, managed
By Julia Fioretti
BRUSSELS Dec 8 The European Union has banned
Iran's Aseman Airlines from operating within the EU due to
safety concerns, in a blow to Tehran which is buying new jets to
renew the country's ageing fleet following the lifting of
Aseman Airlines was added to the EU's air safety list of
airlines which do not meet international safety standards, the
European Commission said in a statement on Thursday.
The regional carrier is Iran's third largest by active fleet
size. Owned by Iran's civil service pension fund, it is managed
as a private company, according to an Iranian aviation expert.
Aseman Airlines was reported in August to be buying 20
regional jets from Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
for use on domestic routes.
The lifting of economic sanctions in exchange for curbs on
its nuclear activities has allowed Iran to strike provisional
deals worth around $50 billion with Boeing and Airbus
to buy some 200 airliners to renew its ageing fleet.
The Commission also removed all Kazakh airlines from the
list, meaning they are no longer subject to restrictions on
operating in Europe, because of improvements to aviation safety.
"After years of work and European technical assistance, we
are today able to clear all Kazakh air carriers. This also is a
positive signal for all the countries that remain on the list.
It shows that work and cooperation pay off," EU transport
commissioner Violeta Bulc said.
(Editing by Alexander Smith)