Syria to buy civil aircraft from Ukraine: SANA

Syria will buy 10 civilian aircraft from Ukrainian manufacturer Antonov for its state-owned airline, the official SANA news agency said on Tuesday.

"Cabinet has approved a contract between Syrian Arab Airlines and Ukrainian manufacturer Antonov for the purchase of 10 civilian aircraft, in a bid to strengthen Syria's fleet," SANA said.

The report did not specify the type of aircraft.

Syrian Arab Airlines currently only runs flights from the strife-torn country to Armenia, Iran, Russia and several Arab states.

US sanctions imposed on Syria in 2004 have affected the carrier's small fleet, which in 2008 only had six Airbus planes.

The sanctions specifically accused Damascus of backing terrorism. They forbade the airline from entering US airspace, as well as the export of certain US products to Syria.

A Syrian order several years ago of Airbus planes was cancelled after the United States demanded documents from the European manufacturer to ensure the aircraft did not contain US-made parts.

In 2012, the EU blacklisted the airline and forbade its planes from landing on European territory, because of the regime's brutal crackdown on dissent after the eruption of an anti-regime revolt in March 2011.

© 2013 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Mar 12, 2013