The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has banned Turkmenistan Airlines from flying to and from the EU until it can prove that it meets international air safety standards.

The ban means the airline cannot operate flights from Amritsar to Heathrow and Birmingham and from New Delhi to Heathrow via Ashgabat have been halted, leaving passengers stranded abroad.

Turkmenistan Airlines also operated flights from the UK via Ashgabat to destinations such as Bangkok and Beijing.  

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) confirmed that it was required to withdraw Turkmenistan Airlines’ permit pending the EASA’s restoration of its approval if the airline meets safety standards.

Passengers with tickets for Turkmenistan Airlines flights have been told by the CAA that they may have to make their own arrangements to get home, with airlines such as Air India, British Airways, Jet Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Turkish Airlines offering alternative flights.

Those wishing to get a refund for unused tickets will need to contact Turkmenistan Airlines directly, or make a claim against their credit or debit card provider if they booked direct.

Anyone who booked a ticket through an agency should get in touch with their agent in the first instance, as your tickets may be covered by insurance, according to the CAA.

The Turkmenistan Airlines website does not make any mention of the EASA ban, but flights to and from European airports are not available to book online.

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