Wife of Winwick plane crash victim welcomes Nepal's EU air ban

Warrington Guardian: Tim Oakes Tim Oakes

THE wife of Tim Oakes, who was killed in a plane crash in Nepal in 2012, has welcomed the news that the country’s airlines have been banned from flying within the EU.

Angela Gaunt, from Winwick, along with other family members of British passengers killed in the fatal crash, said this was an important step forward.

The mum of one said she will be able to take some comfort in the news but warned that more needs to be done to improve Nepal's ‘shocking aviation safety record’.

She added: “I can take some comfort from the fact that something good may come from the devastating loss of my husband Tim and his best friend Steve.

“There has not been a minute since the September 28, 2012, that I have not missed him or reflected on why such poor standards were allowed to exist, putting lives at risk.”

The European Commission has confirmed that all Nepalese airlines have been added to the EU Air Safety List, known as the Blacklist, which bans airlines from operating within the EU.

EU operators and travel agents will also be forced to tell travellers if they make a booking with a Nepalese company.

Travellers would then have a right to be reimbursed if they decide not to take the trip as a result.

The investigation into flight safety in Nepal was launched after a Dornier 228 aircraft crashed to the ground shortly after take-off at Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport, killing 19 passengers and crew on board.

It was the sixth fatal incident in the country in a two-year period and there have been three further crashes in the country since.

Angela said: “I would like to see the EU negotiate with other international aviation bodies to extend this decision to the rest of Asia, as many Japanese, Chinese and Indian tourists have also been killed in plane crashes in Nepal.”

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