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Kazakhstan Grounds EU-Blacklisted National Airlines

January 17, 2006 -- Kazakhstan has shut down the flights of two national air carriers that are blacklisted by the European Union for safety reasons.

Civil Aviation Committee head Yerlan Koshanov said today that the Kazakh government has notified the EU of its decision to ground all aircraft operated by BGB Air and GST Aero.

The EU has closed its airspace to four Central Asian companies on the basis of safety concerns.

In addition to the Kazakh operators, they are Kyrgyz air carriers Phoenix Aviation and Reem Air.