Germany eases ban on flights from Yemen

The German government bars passenger aircraft from carrying cargo on board.

Berlin: The German government has eased its ban on flights from Yemen, allowing passenger aircraft to resume their services to this country while barring them from carrying cargo or mail on board.

Passenger flights from Yemen along with their luggage have been allowed again to land at Germany`s airports since Friday afternoon if they do not transport cargo or mail, a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Transport told reporters here on Saturday.

Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer has ordered an easing of the flight ban for passenger planes on the basis of a recommendation from the Interior Ministry, the spokesman said.

However, the ban on direct and indirect cargo flights from Yemen will remain in force.

The German federal police, which are responsible for the security of passenger flights, inspected the situation at the airport in the Yemeni capital Sana`a, and reported to the authorities that it has no misgivings about resuming passenger flights from that country, the spokesman said.

Germany clamped down a ban on all flights from Yemen two weeks ago following the interception of two air freight package bombs from Sanaa destined to the United States.

One package, which was seized at the East Midlands airport, near London, after being transhipped at the Cologne airport, was timed to explode over the east coast of the United States, according to British investigators, who examined the package.

The second parcel bomb was intercepted in Dubai after it was flown on board two passenger aircraft from Sana`a.

Both the packages contained powerful plastic explosive PETN hidden inside printer toner cartridges and they were addressed to two synagogues in Chicago.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula had claimed responsibility for the foiled bomb plot.

Meanwhile, the news magazine `Focus` reported in its latest edition that the German airlines Lufthansa had warned the Interior Ministry about terrorist threat for air transport from Yemen long before the discovery of the two packet bombs.

The airline had several times informed the experts of the German federal police about "serious security deficiency" at the Sana`a airport, the magazine said.