KHARTOUM, SUDAN - SUDAN has grounded its national carrier Sudan Airways from Monday because it says the airline does not meet international standards, a civil aviation official said on Sunday.
'This decision will come into force on Monday for an undefined period and will include both domestic and international flights,' Hassan Saleh, an official with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told reporters.
There was no immediate comment from Sudan Airways.
The decision comes less than two weeks after a Sudan Airways Airbus A310 with 214 passengers on board burst into flames on landing at Khartoum airport, and at least 30 people burned to death.
But the CAA said in a statement that the decision had nothing to do with the accident, and its director of safety Hassan al-Mujammar said the airline had failed to take measures put in place by the authority in May.
Sudan Airways was therefore stripped of its licence to operate flights until the measures are implemented, according to the statement.
The airline is 30 per cent owned by the state, majority ownership of 49 per cent having gone to the Kuwaiti Aref group a year ago. Sudan's Al-Fina group owns 21 per cent.
An official inquiry by the CAA and Sudan Airways has begun into the June 10 Khartoum crash, amid contradictory reports that either bad weather or technical failure were to blame.
Airport authorities said an engine caught fire, spreading to the fuselage, while survivors said weather conditions at the time of the landing were poor, with the capital hit by a sandstorm and heavy showers.
The aircraft had flown in from Amman via Damascus but had already been turned back once because of bad weather and forced to land at Port Sudan before being allowed to return to Khartoum.
The disaster was the latest in a long line of fatal air crashes and mishaps in Sudan.
In May south Sudan's defence minister was killed in a plane crash along with at least 22 other people, most of them senior members of the southern former rebel leadership. -- AFP