Romanian airline hired by Guinea Bissau prevented from flying to Portugal

23 April 2014

Guinea Bissau will continue to have no direct air links to Europe after Portugal’s National Civil Aviation Institute (INAC) failed to authorise Romania’s Ten Airways to fly between Bissau and Lisbon, INAC said in a statement issued Tuesday.

The Romanian airline was hired by Guinea Bissau to offer flights between Bissau and Lisbon, which came to a halt after the country’s government forced the crew of a TAP Air Portugal flight to allow 74 Syrian passengers carrying false passports to board.

The incident led to the Portuguese airline suspending all its direct flights between Lisbon and Bissau, thus leaving the country without any direct flights to Europe since December.

In its statement INAC said that the air agreement signed between Portugal and Guinea Bissau, approved in 2008, was harmonised by another agreement signed by the European Union and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), of which Guinea Bissau is a member, in 2010.

“In the case of an airline from the European Union that holds a community exploration license, the respective designation to operate scheduled services on the Lisbon-Bissau-Lisbon route can only be provided by Portugal,” and it will also need to comply with other requirements, INAC said in its statement, citing the agreement.

“The two-way air agreement outlines that each party may designate several companies and those that have, so far, been designated by Portugal to operate scheduled air services on the Lisbon-Bissau-Lisbon route are TAP Air Portugal and EuroAtlantic Airways,” said INAC’s statement. (macauhub/PT/GW)