The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has suspended operations of older Antonov aircraft after An-8 freighters operated by two Singaporean cargo companies were deemed no longer airworthy.

"CAAS was recently advised by Antonov that two An-8 aircraft operating at Seletar Airport in Singapore had reached the end of their service life. As a safety precaution, we asked operators to stop using their Antonov aircraft. We have asked them to provide more information on the airworthiness condition of their aircraft for our review," says the authority.

The ban affects regional cargo operators Air Mark Aviation and Expo Aviation, both of which operate from Seletar.

Antonov An-124 operations in Singapore are unaffected.

Air Mark, which operates one Antonov An-12 and one Antonov An-26, says it is maintaining some of its Antonov services from Batam and Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The carrier says it was taken by surprise by the ban, and does not know how long it could remain in place.

Expo Aviation, which operates a single An-8, says it has now returned the affected aircraft to its lessor, and replaced it with a reconditioned model.

The company remains grounded, however, pending the lifting of the CAAS ban.

Source: Flight International