The European Commission published an update of its list of banned airlines within the European Union airspace on April 16, 2019. The main changes concern Moldova and Angola.
Angola national airline TAAG Angola Airlines and Heli Malongo, that were subject to operating restrictions since November 2008, have been removed from the list. The rest of the country’s airlines, though, are still banned.
The change of situation should be welcomed in Angola, where the situation for aviation has been dire in the past years. In January 2018, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimated that $500 million of blocked funds from airlines were in Angola, meaning that local airlines experienced difficulties making foreign currency payments on time to their suppliers and business partners.
As for Moldova, all the carriers with the exception of Air Moldova, Fly One and Aerotranscargo are now banned from the EU airspace “due to a lack of safety oversight by the civil aviation authority of Moldova”.
In addition, the civil aviation authorities of the Dominican Republic and Belarus have been put under increased control, due suspicion of a decrease in safety oversight.
“Our priority is to maintain the highest possible security level in the European sky,” said Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, in a press release. “The list of banned airlines in the EU remains one of our most effective tools for achieving this”.
A total of 120 companies are now banned from operating in the European Union. 114 are certified carriers in 16 countries where a lack of security by the aviation authorities has been identified.
Six other companies are banned due to security concerns within the companies themselves: Avior Airlines (Venezuela), Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran), Iraqi Airways (Iraq), Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname), Med-View Airlines ( Nigeria) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).
In addition, four other companies are limited in the use of the type of aircraft operated. These are Afrijet (Gabon), Air Koryo (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), Air Service Comoros (Comoros) and Iran Air (Iran).