The European Union banned Rollins Air of Honduras and part of Jordan Aviation’s fleet from flying in the 27-nation bloc while further easing curbs on TAAG Angola Airlines under the latest changes to a list of unsafe carriers.
The EU said “significant safety issues” first raised by France justified the fleet-wide prohibition on Rollins Air and “numerous and repeated safety deficiencies” by Jordan Aviation warranted a ban on three of its Boeing Co. (BA) 767 aircraft. TAAG is allowed to add two Boeing 777-300 planes to the carrier’s aircraft permitted in the EU.
“Safety comes first,” the commission, the EU’s regulatory arm, said in a statement today in Brussels. “We cannot afford any compromise in this area.”
This is the 18th update of a blacklist first drawn up by the commission in March 2006 with more than 90 airlines, mainly from Africa. The ban already covers passenger and cargo carriers from nations including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Liberia, Sudan and the Philippines.
Airline crashes in 2004 and 2005 that killed hundreds of European travelers prompted EU governments to seek a uniform approach to airline safety through a common blacklist. The list, updated at least four times a year, is based on deficiencies found during checks at European airports, the use of antiquated aircraft by companies and shortcomings by non-EU airline regulators.
In addition to imposing an operational ban in Europe, the blacklist can act as a guide for travelers worldwide and influence safety policies in non-EU countries. Nations that are home to carriers with poor safety records can ground them to avoid being put on the EU list, while countries keen to keep out unsafe foreign airlines can use the European list as a guide for their own bans.
In its statement today, the commission said it refrained from adding Russian and Albanian airlines to the blacklist because of “strong measures” by authorities in the two countries “to control and contain any risks to safety of their air carriers flying into the EU.”
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