A list has been announced by the European Union of airlines that have been banned from flying into these European countries. Many of the airlines are from Africa and have been banned in the individual countries but the EU has decided to create a common list for the countries to use.
The ban applies to cargo and passenger carriers from Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and Liberia judged to have an “inadequate system for regulatory oversight” or insufficient safety standards. It will be enforced by all 25 EU nations, plus Norway and Switzerland.
EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said the EU was barring 50 carriers from Congo alone, 14 from Sierra Leone and seven from Swaziland, virtually ensuring that all airlines operating from those countries were prevented from flying to Europe.
He said some planes used for flights to Europe and possibly elsewhere were “flying coffins,” adding that safety controls in the listed nations were too weak.
The EU moved to set up a single list after several fatal airline crashes in Greece and Italy last year and the fatal crash of Egypt’s Flash Airlines in the Red Sea in June 2004, which killed 148 people, mostly French tourists.
The Egyptian airline was not on the EU list, as it had gone bankrupt, Barrot said.
Barrot said the high number of listed Congolese airlines was partly due to years of civil war, after which old military planes, many manufactured in the former Soviet Union, were converted for civilian and cargo use. via the Chicago Tribune