Air France to resume flights to Cameroon

19th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 18 (AFP) - Air France said Sunday it would resume flights to Cameroon's Douala airport this week, ending a dispute over safety standards with Cameroon Airlines that saw the French flagship suspend its daily flights to the city for two days.

PARIS, Sept 18 (AFP) - Air France said Sunday it would resume flights to Cameroon's Douala airport this week, ending a dispute over safety standards with Cameroon Airlines that saw the French flagship suspend its daily flights to the city for two days.

"Air France will resume flights to Cameroon. Technical constraints prevented us from doing so on Sunday, but Air France will return to its schedule of daily flights between Paris and Douala from Monday," a spokeswoman told AFP.

The first Douala-bound plane is scheduled to leave Paris from Charles de Gaulle airport on Monday at 10:20am.

The airline had lodged stranded passengers in hotels in Paris or flown them to other airports.

The resumption of the service comes after France's civil aviation authority, the DGAC, agreed to lift a ban on Cameroon Airlines (Camair) flights to France.

The DGAC had issued the ban Friday after tests on aircraft earlier this year revealed "several failures to meet international norms notably in the fields of loading, transport of dangerous materials, navigation documentation and tyre maintenance."

Camair will be allowed to resume flights to France on chartered Air Italy planes.

Following the ban, Air France had on Saturday suspended its daily flight from Paris to Douala, citing safety concerns.

The French airline said its planes were not absolutely sure of assistance at the Cameroonian airport.

Trade unions at Cameroon's national carrier denounced the French ban on Camair and threatened reprisals against Air France.

The French and Cameroonian authorities had agreed on a plan of action to correct the problems, but "new tests carried out in July and August showed that persistent anomalies remained in place."

"The DGAC asked for an audit of operating conditions with satisfactory conclusions by September 15, but this did not happen," the authority said.

The DGAC agreed to lift the suspension as soon as satisfactory audit results were provided or safety requirements met.

Air Italy's planes meet the French civil avaition authority's requirements.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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