- The European Union has banned eight airlines operating in Benin from flying to Europe due to safety concerns. The commission regularly publishes a list of passenger and cargo airliners which are banned from flying to its 27 member countries because they are not considered safe enough.
The bloc said the ban on all airlines certified in the western African country of Benin is justified by the negative results of an audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani said air passengers are entitled to feel safe and be safe, further stating that all carriers must conform to internationally required levels of air safety.
"The Commission will continue close consultations with the aviation authorities with a view to re-assessing the safety situation at the next meeting of the Air Safety Committee," the Commission said. The committee meets next in July when a review of the decision can be made.
Local reports said the latest blacklist is the tenth update first drawn up by the EU in March 2006 with more than 90 airlines mainly from Africa having been banned. The ban already covers carriers from nations including Angola, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Rwanda and other Asian countries.
The EU imposed harsh measures on passenger carriers following airline crashes in 2004 and 2005 that killed hundreds of European travelers.
The list, updated at least four times a year, is based on deficiencies found during checks at European airports, the use of antiquated aircraft by companies and shortcomings by non-EU airline regulators.
The other airlines added to the barred carriers are Kazakhstan’s Air Company Kokshetau, ATMA Airlines, Berkut Air, East Wing, Sayat Air and Starline KZ, Thailand’s One-Two-Go Airlines and Ukraine’s Motor Sich Airlines, according to the EU.
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