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EC bans Mozambique airlines from European airspace

posted Apr 20, 2011, 5:54 AM by Rowan Hewitt

By Cathy Buyck | April 20, 2011

LAM Mozambique 737-200. Photo: By Rob Finlayson.

The EU is banning all air carriers certified in Mozambique, including LAM Mozambique Airlines, from operating to its airports—as well as two Air Madagascar Boeing 767s—owing to “significant safety deficiencies,” the European Commission announced Tuesday in an update of its blacklist.

Conversely, four all-cargo Indonesian air carriers—Cardig Air, Republic Express, Asia Link and Air Maleo—have been removed from the list owing to “solid enforcement action taken by the Indonesian authorities to ensure that their operations are safe.” The EC also lifted restrictions on Ukrainian airline UMAir “after solid evidence showed its performance had improved.”

The EC pointed out that the Air Safety Committee, which met April 5-7, “also examined various cases of European air carriers.” The commission did not name any EU carriers but said it is “urging the authorities in several member states to further enhance their oversight of these air carriers to ensure that all airlines established in Europe operate at the highest safety levels.” It also noted that “after a lengthy discussion,” the Air Safety Committee urged the commission to intensify its “dialogue on aviation safety matters with the Russian Federation to ensure that all aircraft flying into the EU comply with international standards.”

The EU blacklist now comprises 18 countries covering 259 known airlines whose operations are subject to a blanket European ban. There are an additional three countries—Indonesia, Gabon and Kazakhstan—whose carriers are banned from operating to the EU but some of their operators are exempt from the restriction. The list also includes three individual carriers and 10 air carriers allowed to operate into the EU under strict restrictions, subject to conditions.

“Safety comes first. We cannot afford any compromise in this area,” EC VP-Transport Siim Kallas said. “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.”