The European Commission has updated its aviation blacklist, with the most significant addition being two of Air Madagascar’s Boeing 767 aircraft. The new ruling states that the wide-body planes, which the airline operates on its Antananarivo-Paris route, have been banned “because of significant safety deficiencies requiring decisive action”. Air Madagascar also operates a B767 on flights to Bangkok and Guangzhou.
Elsewhere, four Indonesian cargo airlines have been removed from the blacklist (Cardig Air, Republic Express, Asia Link and Air Maleo), but many of the country’s passenger airlines, including Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air and Riau Airlines, remain on the list. National carrier Garuda Indonesia, along with five other airlines, have already been de-listed. All Philippine carriers, including national carrier Philippines Airlines and Asia’s third latest low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific, remain blacklisted.
The EU noted that authorities in Cambodia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan “have intensified their efforts to enforce the international safety standards”.
The European Commission Vice President in charge of transport, Siim Kallas, said; “The Commission is ready to work together with the authorities of those countries which have safety problems to overcome them as quickly and as efficiently as possible. In the meantime, safety comes first. We cannot afford any compromise in this area. Where we have evidence inside or outside the European Union that air carriers are not performing safe operations we must act to exclude any risks to safety.”
The updated black list includes all carriers in 21 countries, accounting for 269 air carriers: Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon (with the exception of three carriers), Indonesia (with the exception of six carriers), Kazakhstan (with the exception of one carrier – Air Astana), Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome & Principe, Sudan, Swaziland and Zambia.
The list also includes three individual carriers: Blue Wing Airlines from Surinam, Meridian Airways from Ghana, and Silverback Cargo Freighters from Rwanda. Ten other carriers, including Air Astana, Air Madagascar and Iran Air, are allowed to operate into the EU under certain restrictions.
It is worth noting that of all carriers subject to EU restructions, 47% are from Africa. IATA noted recently that Africa’s accident rate in 2010 was 12 times the global average.