May 21, 2015 / 2:13 AM / 2 years ago

China's aviation regulator to hold foreign airlines to new safety rules

A wing of an Airbus A350 XWB passenger jet is seen in front of Dragon Airlines (C) and Cathay Pacific Airways (L) aircrafts before its demonstration flight with China Airlines in Taoyuan International Airport, northern Taiwan, May 18, 2015.Pichi Chuang

(This May 20 story has been corrected to fix language throughout)

BEIJING (Reuters) - Foreign airlines operating in China will be evaluated by the country's aviation regulator, and those who fail to meet the safety standards will be prohibited from operating in China, China's aviation regulator said on Wednesday.

According to the new safety rules, all 156 foreign carriers in China will be scored according to 34 criteria, including number of accidents, their compliance with rules and regulations and the number of safety-related complaints from customers, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said.

Foreign carriers will be rated on a 12-point scale, with points deducted for violations or accidents. Carriers risk losing their China operation license if their scores are low, CAAC said.

A spokeswoman at Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHAG.DE) said she was not aware of the rules. Korean Air Lines Co Ltd (003490.KS) and United Airlines Inc [UALCO.UL] could not be reached for comments immediately.

CAAC could not be reached for comment, but in a statement, it said similar rules were already in place in the European Union and the United States.

Accidents have been on the decline in China in recent years. Earlier this month, a Chinese self-made MA 60 small plane skidded off a runway after landing at the airport in Fuzhou in southeast Fujian province.

CAAC blamed the accident on pilot error and said those responsible would face severe penalties.

Reporting by Fang Yan and Matthew Miller in BEIJING; Editing by Anand Basu

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