In 2011, we wrote an article on the EU Airline Blacklist which
banned certain carriers from landing in the European Union (EU) on
account of them being deemed unsafe by the European Aviation Safety
Agency. [See October edition of Legalflyer for further details]
Since then, this list has been renamed the EU banned list and been
revisited by the European Commission which published the Commission
Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1146/2012 on 3 December 2012.
Before publishing the revised EU Banned List, the European
Commission addressed notices to all concerned air carriers
informing them of their imminent ban and the reasons for their
inclusion on the list. The air carriers were given an opportunity
to make written representations and verbal presentations to the
The common criteria on which airlines are included in the EU
Banned List remain unchanged and are set out in the Annex to
Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005. These criteria include
serious deficiencies on the part of an air carrier, such as
systemic safety deficiencies, accident-related information and the
inability or unwillingness of an air carrier to address these
deficiencies by not implementing appropriate or insufficient
corrective action plans.
The revised EU Banned List now bans all airlines (with some
exceptions) from 20 countries outside the EU. These countries are:
Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic
of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Indonesia,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mozambique, Philippines, Sierra
Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Swaziland and Zambia. Of these
countries, 14 are on the African continent.
An exception has been made for ten carriers from these 20 banned
countries that are authorised to fly in the EU under special
conditions. These are: 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 Comoros; Iran Air; TAAG Angolan Airlines
and Air Madagascar.
In addition to the 287 carriers from these 20 banned countries,
the EU Banned List also includes three other carriers, namely Blue
Wing Airlines from Suriname, Meridian Airways from Ghana and
Conviasa from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Significant changes to the EU Banned List include the removal of
Jordan Aviation and airlines from Mauritania and the inclusion of
Eritrean airlines. In addition, the European Commission has decided
that, despite the progress that has been made by the Libyan
aviation authorities, Libyan carriers have yet to meet
international safety standards and, as such, Libyan authorities
have agreed that they would not operate in the EU until they fully
satisfy the requirements of the European Commission.
The African Airlines Association has once again reacted strongly
against the blacklisting by the EU, making controversial
accusations suggesting that the EU is promoting EU airlines at the
expense of African carriers.
The EU reiterated that in determining which airlines are
included on the EU Banned List, they remain guided by the safety
reports and concerns raised by the International Civil Aviation
Organisation. The intention of the EU is to improve airline safety.
In keeping with this aim, the EU has appointed the European
Aviation Safety Agency to provide assistance to aviation
authorities in countries which appear on the EU Banned List and to
support these countries in complying with accepted international
As the EU Banned List is reviewed every three or four months,
the airlines and aviation authorities have a chance to rectify any
deficiencies that may have contributed to their banning. The EU
Banned List is not fixed and airlines can be removed from the list
should they meet the necessary criteria at a later stage.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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