Thousands stranded as turkmenistan Airlines banned for safety reasons

Wednesday 06th February 2019 12:59 EST

Flights from Birmingham and London's Heathrow to Amritsar have been suspended on safety grounds according to the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). As a result thousands of passengers were stranded.

These flights are routed via Ashgabat, Turkmenistan and also fly through Frankfurt and Paris. The CAA acted after the European Aviation Safety Agency suspended permission for it to fly in the EU.

Set up in 1992 this route to Amritsar is mostly used by the British Punjabis of the UK.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said the European Aviation Safety Agency had suspended the airline's flights to and from the EU "pending confirmation that it meets international air safety standards".

"This means that Turkmenistan Airlines flights between the UK (London Heathrow and Birmingham) and Turkmenistan (Ashgabat), do not have permission to travel to and from the UK," the FCO said. Affected passengers are advised to contact Turkmenistan Airlines to seek advice, the FCO said.

Passengers can seek for a refund for unused tickets by contacting the airline directly.

If you've paid by credit card for your flight, and paid more than £100, you may be able to claim compensation from your credit card firm under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

If you've paid by debit card, and paid more than £100, you could try to contact your bank and ask about "chargeback". However, to get this form of compensation, your bank would need to claw back your money from the airline directly.

“The news that Turkmenistan Airline flights have been suspended until it meets international air safety standards, will come as a shock to the Sikh community in the region who rely on the airline to fly from Birmingham to Amritsar”

“In the meantime, I would call on Air India to increase their flights, and for other airlines to consider taking on additional routes, to help stranded British nationals return home,” tweeted Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Edgbaston.

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