The Civil Aviation Authority responded to a recent press release on eTN by Astana, the national carrier for Kazakhstan, after the airline canceled a nonstop flight to Mongolia. The official statement received reads: “Air Astana was indeed appointed as the airline entitled to conduct nonstop flights on the route Astana-Ulaanbaatar in 2015, in accordance with the provisions set out in the Article 3 of the Air Services Agreement (ASA) signed between the Governments of Mongolia and the Republic of Kazakhstan.
However, Air Astana’s June 2016 launch for the new route failed due to absence of the Air Operator’s Certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of Mongolia (CAAM). It is also our understanding that Air Astana had initiated ticket sales for the scheduled flights, while it was still expected to undergo a series of additional safety and security audits after a serious assessment in January 2016.
We regret that Air Astana has taken the matter on wrong accounts by publicly accusing CAAM of revoking a permit, despite not taking the full steps to acquire the certified safety approval along with appropriate permissions for landing slot and tariffs.
Mongolia has long maintained a high international aviation safety rating; thus, it expects the same level of safety requirements and responsible corporate behavior from all foreign air transport operators in Mongolia. Finally, we hope that Kazakhstan’s principal airline and flag carrier Air Astana will follow through with the necessary procedures governed by international standards and recommended civil aviation practices in respect of our ASA.