Germany relaxes ban on flights from Yemen - report
Germany has downgraded a ban on incoming flights from Yemen that was imposed after a parcel bomb sent from the Middle East country by air courier made it through a German transshipment point last month, a news report said Saturday, dpa reported.
Planes bringing passengers and their luggage from Yemen have been allowed to land in Germany since Friday, but air cargo - including courier parcels - are still prohibited, according to Spiegel magazine's website.
Yemen had protested the ban, imposed by the German Transport Ministry on November 1.
Spiegel said the decision to relax the ban came after the German Interior Ministry updated its risk analysis. German police checked the precautions implemented in Yemen and were convinced that the scrutiny of passengers' luggage before boarding was adequate.
But the rules say that incoming passenger planes are still not allowed to carry mail or freight consignments.
Germany's air-traffic control authorities were ordered two weeks ago to turn away all planes that had begun their flights in Yemen, even those that were only attempting to fly through German airspace to another country.
At the time, a Yemeni official expressed "regret and surprise" at the ban and called it a "hasty and exaggerated reaction" that "harms Yemen's efforts in the fight against terrorism."
One of two booby-trapped packages sent from Yemen in October passed through a German parcels depot in Cologne, before being intercepted in England on its way to Chicago. Police said it contained a bomb hidden in a computer printer.