'Unsafe' airlines banned from EuropeEU blacklist bans 92 airlines from European skies

23 March 2006

Ninety-two airlines have been banned from flying to any European Union (EU) country because they're considered unsafe.

The EU airline safety blacklist includes certain airlines from Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, North Korea, Kazakhstan, and Kyrghizstan, as well as Thailand's Phuket Airlines.

Air Bangladesh and Buraq Air, from Libya, are allowed to operate in the EU only if they lease aircraft from companies which aren't banned.

Antiquated aircraft

The bans follow checks at European airports and are based on the airlines' use of poorly maintained, antiquated or obsolete aircraft and their inability to rectify shortcomings identified during inspections.

It's the first time the EU has published a blacklist, and the list will be updated at least every three months. In addition, if any EU member state bans an airline, such a ban will apply throughout the EU.

Jacques Barrot, of the European Commission, said:'This blacklist will keep dubious airlines out of Europe. It will also make sure that all airlines operating in Europe's sky meet the highest safety standards'.