BRUSSELS: The European Commission has published its latest list of airlines banned from EU airspace.
Updated for the 23rd time, the so-called "EU air safety list" has cleared airlines from Swaziland; permitted Philippine airline Cebu Pacific Air access to Europe and granted Kazakhstan-based Air Astana increased frequencies from Almaty. The Commission says all other Kazakh airlines remain banned until the government has implemented a sustainable safety oversight programme.
Currently there are 294 airlines from the following countries banned from EU airspace: Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon (with the exception of three airlines with restricted operations), Indonesia (with the exception of five airlines), Kazakhstan (with the exception of one airline), Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mozambique, Nepal, Philippines (with the exception of two airlines), Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sudan and Zambia.
The list also includes two individual airlines: Blue Wing Airlines from Suriname and Meridian Airways from Ghana, for a total of 296 proscribed airlines (see list below).
The following 10 airlines are allowed to operate subject to operational restrictions: Air Astana from Kazakhstan, Afrijet, Gabon Airlines, and SN2AG from Gabon, Air Koryo from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Airlift International from Ghana, Air Service Comores from the Comoros, Iran Air from Iran, TAAG Angolan Airlines from Angola and Air Madagascar from Madagascar.
Commission vice president for transport Siim Kallas commented: "When countries do what it takes to ensure the safety of their aviation industry, it is important that the EU recognises these efforts. The proof is the aviation safety progress we are witnessing in Africa. Swaziland is now the second country, after Mauritania, to be removed from the EU safety list. Promising progress was also noted in Zambia, Mozambique, Sudan, and Libya, as well as in the Philippines and Kazakhstan."