KATHMANDU, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Nepal's aviation regulatory body, on Monday expressed serious concern over a recent decision by the European Commission (EC) to ban all Nepal-based airlines from flying in the European Union (EU).
In a statement last Thursday, the EC said it would put all of Nepali air carriers on the EU air-safety list.
It had also asked European operators and travel agents to inform European travelers to reimburse the tickets if they had booked a seat on a Nepali carrier to come to Nepal.
The CAAN said in a press release that the EC's move has surprised it at a time when "the CAAN has been in continuous correspondence with EC for the last few months and has also submitted all necessary evidences and documents with regards to Nepal's air safety to it."
"The CAAN officials and air service operators had also notified about the status of air safety in Nepal and efforts having been made for strengthening air safety during the meeting of EC's Air Safety Committee on Nov. 19," the press release said. "We are surprised by the move by EC against such a backdrop."
The aviation regulatory body further claimed that Nepal's non- compliance rate with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards declined by 12 percentage points to 45 percent while the global figure dropped to 39 percent in 2013.
Meanwhile, the CAAN has expressed its commitment to making every effort to further strengthen Nepal's air safety in the future. "We have already devised short-term, medium-term and long- term safety plans to address the concerns expressed in ICAO air safety monitoring audit," the press released added.