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EU bans airlines from Philippines, Sudan on safety
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Mar 31, 2010 - 8:09:43 AM

Published: March 31, 2010 16:33 IST | Updated: March 31, 2010 16:33 IST

EU bans airlines from Philippines, Sudan on safety

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The European Union has banned all airlines based in the Philippines and Sudan from flying into the bloc for failing to comply with international flight safety standards.

Around 40 airlines in the Philippines and a dozen companies in Sudan are affected by the flight ban.

These airlines are among 278 airlines from 17 countries placed on the European Commission’s updated list of civil aviation companies banned in the 27-nation bloc. The majority of airlines affected by the flight ban are in Africa and Asia.

Presenting the European Commission’s 13th update of blacklisted airlines in Brussels on Tuesday, Commission Vice President in charge of transport Siim Kallas said the entire airlines in the Philippines and in the Sudan were banned from the European air space because the authorities in the two countries had repeatedly violated international safety rules.

“Safety comes first. We are ready to support countries that need to build up technical and administrative capacity to guarantee the necessary standards in civil aviation. But we cannot accept that airlines fly into the EU if they do not fully comply with international safety standards,” Mr. Kallas said.

The commission reduced the number of flights operated to the EU by the Iranian carrier Iran Air. In future, the airline will be allowed to operate services to Europe only on certain specific aircraft. The commission will visit Iran in the coming months to verify the oversight of the Iranian civil aviation organisation and the safety situation of Iran Air, Mr. Kallas said.

As a result of the trade embargo against Iran, the state-owned Iran Air has been facing difficulties to get spare parts and equipment for the maintenance of its existing fleet and to buy new aircraft. Iran Air operates different types of aircraft, including a fleet of aging Boeing 747 aircraft, which are mostly from the 1970s.

The commission extended its existing ban on all carriers from Indonesia and decided to keep under observation airlines operating from Afghanistan, Albania and Egypt.

The commission lifted a ban on the Korean airline Air Koryo and allowed nine other airlines, including Air Bangladesh and TAAG Angola Airlines to operate under “restrictions and conditions.”

Three airlines whose services are completely banned in the EU are Ariana Afghan Airlines, Siem Reap Airways International from Cambodia and Silverback Cargo Freighters from Rwanda.

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