A total of 275 airlines worldwide have appeared on the dreaded list of airlines banned from flying into the European airspace. According to a data from the transport division of the European Union, the banned airlines have safety issues and as such will not be allowed to ‘contaminate’ the European Airspace.
Interestingly, no Nigerian airline is included but the inclusion of other African carriers is strongly being contended by the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) that has described the ban list as an economic weapon used to run African carriers out of business, to ensure European airlines’ domination of the continent’s airspace. According to the Secretary General and Chief Executive of AFRAA, Elijah Chingosho, the “ban list is a way of putting African airlines down and promoting European carriers.
“Most of the African carriers on the ban list do not even fly into Europe. They do domestic and regional operations and yet they are there. “So, how many passengers from Europe and other foreign destinations are aware of this. Will they check to know whether Kenya Airways, Ethiopian, South African Airways, Arik Air, Egypt Air and others are not on the list? Which passenger has such luxury of time? “Once they see African carriers dominating the list, they simply go for European carriers.
It’s an economic tool,” he told Daily Sun in a recent interview. Meanwhile, European Union Transport Commissioner, Siim Kallas, has announced that Eritrean air carriers are no longer certified to fly in the EU. The commission released an updated list of airlines subject to bans within the EU earlier in the week, with previously banned airlines from Mauritania now removed from the list.
According to the broadcaster, Kallas said: “Safety must always come first and we cannot accept any compromise in this area, hence the decision on Eritrea.” The airlines that had received their certification in Eritrea were subject to an operating ban because of “an outstanding safety concern notified by (International Civil Aviation Organisation) and to the absence of adequate mitigating measures taken by the competent authorities of Eritrea,” a commission statement said.
Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on the European Commission, EU member states and Europe’s Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) to ensure that Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs) are delivering real results.