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EU bars Filipino, Congolese airlines from its airspace

BRUSSELS - The European Union on Monday placed airlines from the Philippines, Honduras and the two Congos on its blacklist of carriers forbidden from flying in the 27-nation bloc.

Aeromajestic and Interisland Airlines, a Filipino company, Stellar Airways from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Congo from the Republic of Congo were banned because they failed to provide documented evidence that they comply with international safety standards.

Honduran carrier Rollins Air was placed on the list after France raised concerns about the airline's safety, the European Commission said.

The EU's executive arm also slapped restrictions on Jordan Aviation, barring three Boeing 767s operated by the Jordanian airline from using European airspace.

"Safety comes first. We cannot afford any compromise in this area," said EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas.

"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," he said.

The commission decided to leave three Russian carriers off its list -- VIM AVIA, Yakutia and Tatarstan Airlines -- after Russian authorities decided to impose their own operating restrictions on the companies.

Although the EU's air safety committee was "very concerned" with the performance of Albanian airlines, the commission kept them off the list too after Albanian authorities took "very strong" safety enforcement measures.

The EU flight-ban list now counts 273 airlines from 20 countries.

by Simon Sturdee
(c) 2011 AFP
Published on ASDNews: Nov 21, 2011


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