The EU has very strict rules when it comes to airlines using their airspace, for good reason. 2 new airlines based in Africa have been added to the “blacklist” and are no longer allowed to use European airspace or airports.
The EU is at the front of the line when it comes to global aviation safety, actively working with other countries to raise safety standards since there are still many airlines operating below quite essential safety standards. The blacklist was first draw up in March of 2006 following several fatal crashes in Greece, Italy, and Egypt in 2004 and 2005. The list is updated every 3-4 months, following uniform checks at European airports.
How do airlines get on the list?
Each airline’s fleet must pass certain safety standards. The European Aviation Safety Agency doesn’t fool around, so if any aspect of these inspections doesn’t pass and the airline is unable to fix it, then the airlines are denied permission to use European airspace or land at European airports. Airlines also have the responsibility to use modern technology, retiring old and antique aircraft that are deemed unfit to fly with passengers.
The list is made public because airline passengers have the right to know about the safety standards of the world’s airlines. It is a guide for travellers around the world as well as a guide for other countries to know and follow suit, banning the airlines from also flying in their airspace. It can be viewed on the European Commission website.
The most recent additions to the list came on September 2nd when Meridian Airways and Airlift International were both banned from flying above any European member states or landing at any airports in the EU.
There are a total of 278 airlines from 17 countries on the blacklist, most are based in either Africa or Asia. Currently all airlines based in the Philippines and Sudan are banned from flying to European and US airports.
Passengers have the right to know about their safety, do you know your passenger rights? Check out our previous blog article on European Commission’s passenger rights program.