EU bans all Philippines, Sudan airlines over safety concerns
Manila (31 March) -- The European Union announced Tuesday that it has banned all airlines in the Philippines and Sudan from flying into the EU for "serious and persistent non-compliance" with the bloc's air safety rules.
The decision, which also saw restrictions placed on Iran Air, hit 40 carriers in the Philippines and 12 in Sudan, European Commission spokeswoman for transport affairs Helen Kearns said.
"In both countries, it's because of serious and persistent non-compliance of the civil aviation authorities in terms of overseeing and checks on aircraft," she told reporters in Brussels.
Neither of the two countries has planes flying directly into the EU, but the blacklisting increases pressure on them to improve safety as European citizens could be discouraged from taking their flights, she said.
The EU's blacklist, which is regularly updated, contains the names of some 200 airlines or firms of concern which are either banned from operating in Europe or only allowed under strict restrictions.
Most of the airlines targeted operate out of Africa, mainly in Angola, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Swaziland.
A number of them do not operate in Europe but industry experts say their inclusion on the EU list is harmful for business. (PIA-Bohol) [top]