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Brussels, 2nd September 2010

Commission adds two Ghanaian airlines to the EU list of air carriers subject to an operating ban

The European Commission has today updated the list of airlines banned in the European Union to impose an operating ban on one air carrier from Ghana and to place operating restrictions on another air carrier from that country.

Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for mobility and transport, said: "We cannot afford any compromise in air safety. Where we have evidence that air carriers are not performing safe operations or where the regulatory authorities fail in their obligation to enforce the safety standards we must act to guarantee to exclude any risks to safety."

The new list replaces the previous one and can already be consulted on the Commission’s website (1).

This update is adopted following exceptional measures taken by two Member States which have banned the air carriers in question from their territory. With this update, the carrier Meridian Airways from Ghana is included in the list of banned airlines as a consequence of a series of very poor results from inspections involving not only their aircraft but also facilities used by the airline in the EU.

Another air carrier from Ghana, Airlift International, was inspected in a Member State and the results indicated a standard well below that required by international standards. The Air Safety Committee unanimously supported the introduction of operating restrictions on Airlift International to exclude from operations into the EU the inspected aircraft, plus two others that are currently in storage. This leaves the company with one aircraft that is still permitted to operate into the EU. The Commission will continue to monitor closely the performance of the airline and will intensify its consultations with the civil aviation organisation of Ghana to find sustainable solutions to the identified safety problems. The Commission will review the case of the two carriers at the next meeting of the Air Safety Committee in November.

Today, the Union's list has five individual carriers whose operations are fully banned in the European Union – Afghanistan (Ariana Afghan Airlines), Surinam (Blue Wing Airlines), Ghana (Meridian Airways), Cambodia (Siem reap Airways International) and Rwanda (Silverback Cargo Freighters). All carriers from 17 countries – 278 companies in total – are banned: Angola, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, (with the exception of three carriers which operate under restrictions and conditions), Indonesia (with the exception of six carriers from which the restrictions have been fully removed), Kazakhstan (with the exception of one carrier which operates under restrictions and conditions), the Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Philippines, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Swaziland and Zambia. There are ten carriers allowed to operate under restrictions and conditions – Kazakhstan (Air Astana); the Democratic People Republic of Korea (Air Koryo); Ghana (Airlift International); Comores (Air Service Comores); Gabon (Gabon Airlines, Afrijet and SN2AG); Iran (Iran Air); Angola (TAAG Angola Airlines); and Ukraine (Ukrainian Mediterranean Airlines).

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