Sudan Airways holds talks to upgrade fleet

27 June 2008
Sudan Airways has confirmed it is in talks to buy new aircraft after the recent accident at Khartoum airport, which resulted in at least 30 passengers being killed.

The incident on 10 June resulted in one of the firm’s Airbus A310 aircraft bursting into flames when landing at Khartoum International Airport. Officials at the national carrier say the airline is keen to swiftly replenish its remaining fleet of six ageing planes.

One 25-year-old Airbus A300, which had been grounded, was recently repaired and pushed back into service. “We are bringing an A300 that was grounded back into service,” says one senior official at the airline. “That has now been fixed but we want to buy or lease newer aircraft. I cannot discuss the crash because it is still under investigation.”

The airline is still in dispute with the country’s Civil Aviation Authority over the regulator’s efforts to ground the airline over administrative issues (MEED 24:6:08). The ban has been temporarily lifted following an appeal, but Sudan Airways remains aggrieved at what it feels was an unnecessarily heavy-handed approach by the regulator.

“The first we knew about it was when the authority made its statement,” says one senior airline official. “All we have to do is appoint some acting directors as full directors, which we will do in the next few days. There was no need for this situation and no reason to ground the planes.”

Both sides have stressed that the ban had nothing to do with the 10 June accident.

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