July 6, 2012 / 6:22 PM / 7 years ago

Chad bans national carrier over safety concerns

N’DJAMENA, July 6 (Reuters) - Chadian authorities have suspended international flights operated by the central African nation’s state carrier Toumai Air after an investigation by the international aviation body IATA revealed serious safety problems, an official said on Friday.

The carrier operated flights to regional destinations including to neighbouring Cameroon, Gabon and Ivory Coast. It also operated seasonal routes to Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

“The civil aviation authority has withdrawn Toumai Air’s airline transport certificate and those of two others due to serious security issues,” Mahamat Aware Neissa, secretary general of Chad’s transport ministry told Reuters.

“Toumai Air Chad and the two companies will no longer operate international flights,” Neissa said, without giving further details about the reasons of the suspension nor the duration, and without naming the other two companies.

Safety concerns remain a challenge for Africa airline companies which top the list of carriers banned from European skies.

Although the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says Africa saw an improvement from 2010 to 2011, the continent’s accident rate is still the worst in the world.

Toumai Air had just one aircraft left, a Fokker 28, after losing its leased Boeing 737-200 to creditors. (Reporting by Madjiasra Nako; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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