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Informing passengers of the carrier's identity and the blacklist of high-risk companies

The accident in Sharm-el-Sheikh in 2004 caused 148 deaths, mainly of European tourists, and showed that more stringent safety rules were needed. To this end, this Regulation is designed to make ramp inspections obligatory and to compel European Union (EU) countries to participate in a wider exchange of information on the safety of airlines.

ACT

Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2005 on the establishment of a Community list of air carriers subject to an operating ban within the Community and on informing air transport passengers of the identity of the operating air carrier, and repealing Article 9 of Directive 2004/36/EC [See amending act(s)].

SUMMARY

This new Regulation is designed to give passengers the right to be informed of the identity of the carrier operating the flight they have booked, while at the same time reinforcing the obligation on European Union (EU) countries to pass on safety-related information. Companies considered to be unsafe will find their aircraft banned from flying and will have their names published on a universally accessible blacklist. This list will be published both on the Internet and in the Official Journal.

These provisions apply to flights:

  • departing from an airport in the territory of an EU country to which the Treaty applies;
  • departing from an airport in a third country and arriving at an airport in the territory of an EU country, provided that the contracting carrier is based in the EU;
  • departing from an airport in a third country, where the flight is part of a contract of carriage entered into in the EU, and provided that the journey started in the EU.

A blacklist of unsafe airlines

The Annex sets out common criteria for considering an EU-wide operating ban for safety reasons. Air carriers will be included on the blacklist on the basis of the following criteria:

  • evidence of serious safety deficiencies on the part of a carrier;
  • a lack of ability (or willingness) on the part of a carrier to address safety deficiencies (lack of transparency or insufficient action);
  • a lack of ability (or willingness) on the part of the authorities responsible for overseeing a carrier to address safety deficiencies (lack of cooperation, insufficient ability, etc.).

EU countries publish a list of all air carriers banned from their airspace or subject to traffic rights restrictions for safety reasons. This list is made available to other EU countries and to the Commission. The Commission publishes a consolidated list of these air carriers. Furthermore, at least once every three months, the Commission must assess whether the blacklist needs to be updated to include or exclude certain carriers. To update the list, both the EU country concerned and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) must notify the Commission of all the relevant information.

Passengers' rights to information and reimbursement

To enable airline passengers to be better informed about the operating carrier when choosing a flight, passengers must be able to know which carrier will be operating the flight when they make the booking. The contracting carrier is required to inform passengers of the identity of the operating air carrier or carriers when making a reservation, whatever the means used to make the booking. The passenger must also be kept informed of any change of operating carrier, either at check-in or, at the latest, when boarding.

The Regulation also gives passengers the right to reimbursement or re-routing if a carrier with which a booking has been made is subsequently added to the blacklist, resulting in cancellation of the flight concerned.

Background

Safety oversight is regulated worldwide within the framework of the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and is based on standards developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Under the Convention, air carriers, and in particular their compliance with safety requirements, must be supervised by their home country.

At European level, safety procedures are based on EU legislation and specifically on the European Aviation Safety Agency.

However, outside the EU, safety levels depend on the effectiveness of oversight procedures applicable in third countries. In this context, Directive 2004/36/EC ensures a high level of aviation safety for aircraft flying into, out of or within the EU by providing for a harmonised inspection system for third-country aircraft using European airports.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005

16.1.2006

-

OJ L 344 of 27.12.2005

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 596/2009

9.9.2010

-

OJ L 237 of 8.9.2010

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.

RELATED ACTS

Blacklist of high-risk companies.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 474/2006 of 22 March 2006 establishing the Community list of air carriers which are subject to an operating ban within the Community referred to in Chapter II of Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal L 84 of 23.3.2006].

Last updated: 17.09.2010
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