The European Commission says it has added airlines from Moldova to its list of those banned from operating in the European Union (EU) and released two Angolan carriers from the ban.
In a list revision announced earlier this week, the commission said the changes mean that 120 airlines are prohibited from operating within the EU.
Moldovan carriers, with three exceptions — Air Moldova, Fly One and Aerotranscargo — are now banned “due to a lack of safety oversight by the civil aviation authority of Moldova,” the commission said.
The commission also said that civil aviation authorities of the Dominican Republic and Belarus have been placed under heightened scrutiny “because of signs of a decrease in safety oversight.”
Two airlines from Angola — TAAG Angola Airlines and Heli Malongo — which had operated in the EU under restrictions since 2008, were removed from the list.
The commission said the list is intended to help ensure “the highest level of air safety for European citizens.” The list also is “a major preventive tool,” the commission said, because it “motivates countries with safety problems to act upon them before a ban under the EU Air Safety List would become necessary.”
EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc added, “Maintaining the highest level of safety in European skies is our priority. The EU’s Air Safety List remains one of our most effective tool to achieve this.”
The 120 banned airlines include 114 airlines certified in 16 countries — Afghanistan, Angola (except for the two airlines released from the ban), Republic of the Congo, Democratic republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon (except for one airline operating under restrictions), the Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Libya, Republic of Moldova (with three exceptions), Nepal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Sudan. The bans stem from a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities of these countries, the commission said.
In addition, six airlines are banned because of what the commission described as airline-specific safety concerns — Avior Airlines of Venezuela, Iran Aseman Airlines, Iraqi Airways, Blue Wing Airlines of Suriname, Med-View Airlines of Nigeria and Air Zimbabwe.
Four other airlines may operate in the EU only with specific aircraft types — Afrijet of Gabon, Air Koryo of North Korea, Air Service Comores of the Comoros and Iran Air.