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Brussels, 24th July 2008

Blacklist of banned airlines: European Commission adopts an updated list

The European Commission today adopted the eighth update of the so-called blacklist of airlines that are banned from flying into the countries of the European Union due to safety concerns. The new list, which replaces the previous one, can already be consulted on the Commission’s website[1]

Antonio Tajani, Commission Vice-President in charge of transport said that "This is another important step in the continuous Commission's effort to enhance civil aviation safety, in the interest of all passengers. The Commission will pursue its cooperation and support to States, their civil aviation authorities and their airlines to ensure that the internationally agreed air safety standards are properly implemented."

With this update, the Commission removed the operating ban from an Iranian air carrier Mahan Airlines, in view of the significant efforts and progress accomplished by this carrier, which were verified during an on site inspection in Iran.

In view of the worrying results of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) audit reports on Gabon, the Commission decided that operators from this country should not operate into the EC. Nevertheless, the Commission acknowledges that the Government of Gabon has made prompt and drastic efforts to effectively change the safety situation of their civil aviation with the direct help from ICAO, including the adoption through an emergency procedure of a new Aviation Code. Two air carriers – Gabon Airlines and Afrijet – which are already flying into the Community are allowed to continue their services into the EC, without however a possibility to expand them under a strict regime of systematic and rigorous pre-flight inspections.

The Commission decided to maintain the ban on all operations of Ukraine Cargo Airways as the airline has not yet been able to successfully implement its corrective actions plan. Also, the Commission has reminded the authorities of Ukraine regarding the need to strengthen enforcement of the safety standards.

In the case of Indonesia, the Commission and the Air Safety Committee which is composed of all EU Member States heard three airlines at their request – Garuda, Mandala and Air Fast, along with the authorities for civil aviation of Indonesia. Following the unanimous opinion of the Air Safety Committee, the Commission decided that the Indonesian authorities have still not developed and implemented an efficient oversight programme on any of the carriers under their regulatory control. Besides, the corrective actions designed to address safety deficiencies detected by the ICAO and by the Commission, have not yet been assessed by ICAO.

The Commission also examined Cambodia and Philippines: in the case of Cambodia, the civil aviation authority of this country is expected to agree by September with ICAO a set of appropriate corrective actions to redress its situation. The Commission urges Cambodia to take all necessary measures to effectively address safety issues before the next update of the list. In the case of Philippines, the Commission acknowledges that the Government has taken already a series of measures and invites them to complete rapidly the resolution of the deficiencies of their safety oversight system to avoid being subject to restrictions by the EU.

Finally, the Commission examined the safety performance of the carrier Yemenia Airways, and decided that the carrier should complete its corrective actions plan by the next meeting of the Air Safety Committee.

Hence, today, the Community list imposes a ban on all carriers from Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Gabon save for Gabon Airlines and Afrijet, whose operations are frozen to the current level. In addition, 8 individual carriers' operations are fully banned in the European Union.


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