- The European Union (EU) today adopted an updated blacklist of unsafe airlines banned from European skies. All Angolan airlines were banned and highlighted as particularly unsafe, but also eight other African countries appear on the list.
The ninth update of the blacklist of airlines that are banned from flying into the countries of the EU due to safety concerns was published in Brussels today. The list proved especially tough on Angola, which was seen as a country where national air safety is not treated professionally.
The EU has extended its old ban on TAAG Angola Airlines to all airlines certified in Angola on the basis of "significant safety concerns" raised by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in its audit report of 1 October 2008, which "still remain open and affect the safety of operations of all Angolan carriers," according to an EU statement.
Europe thus prohibited any airline certified in Angola from carrying out international regular or charter air services into the EU. The EU added it was to "continue close consultations with Angolan civil aviation authorities on the satisfactory completion of the action plan of correctives measures and the recertification of all carriers."
But Angola was not the only African nation to see all its airlines banned from European skies. The EU imposes a ban on all carriers from Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Also these five countries were found not to have satisfactory national air safety standards, and the EU is concerned that airlines from these countries therefore are dangerous.
Also Gabon sees a near-complete ban of its carriers in Europe. All Gabonese airlines save for Gabon Airlines and Afrijet, whose operations are frozen to the current level under certain strict conditions, were banned. With regard to Nouvelle Air Affaires certified in Gabon, the EU decided to maintain the full operating ban already imposed on the air carrier. "There is no evidence so far that the company's plan of corrective measures has been approved and verified by the Gabonese civil aviation authorities," the statement said.
In other parts of Africa, only single airlines were found not to comply with safety regulations. This includes Air West from Sudan and Silverback Cargo Freighters from Rwanda.
Outside Africa, all carriers from Indonesia and the Kyrgyz Republic were banned. Single airliners from North Korea, Afghanistan and Ukraine were also included in the updated blacklist. "The blacklist is essentially a tool that ensures safer skies in Europe", emphasised Antonio Tajani of the EU Commission.
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