The famous European black list of prohibited airlines is still active and has added up to 117 companies. This summer brings important news due to the conflict situation at the gates of its territory. The fact is that the European Commission regularly renews an air safety record in which it points out a series of airlines around the world that do not comply with international safety standards. Being on this list, carriers are directly prohibited from operating to and over the European Union.
One of the aspects that is perhaps most striking is that many of these airlines are from countries far from Europe, do not fly to it and are based in nations in Africa, Asia or Latin America. With this action, the intention of the European authorities is also to remind its citizens of the potential security problems involved in flying on certain airlines.
An example of a recommendation to EU nationals and passengers in general is the case of Nepal: the 20 air transport companies of that country located between India and Tibet appear as vetoed by the European aviation authorities as they do not have confidence in the Nepalese regulatory authority.
The Kathmandu government understood that this resolution gives a terrible image of a country that attracts thousands of Europeans who want to travel through it and who, due to its orography, usually end up using small local airlines. The Nepalese tourism minister himself officially asked several European ambassadors to remove their territory from the list, arguing the increase in air safety in his state. To achieve this, a group of European experts will have to travel to the Asian country to verify first-hand that the administrative, inspection and maintenance procedures have improved substantially.
Russia's invasion of Ukrainian territory in the spring of 2022 has fully affected many sectors of the largest country in the world. In the last update of the aeronautical black list, 22 Russian airlines have been added. Several operate flights exclusively within a territory of more than 17 million square kilometres, although others are international in nature and until a few months ago were common at airports in Western European countries. Examples of this are the historic and well-known Aeroflot, the Nordwind Airlines or Siberia Airlines.
The case of the inclusion of Russia in the list, in addition to the purely political and economic decision as a measure of pressure, has other variables. For the EU, there are security problems in the 22 targeted airlines due to Russia's forced re-registration of foreign-owned aircraft and also knowingly allowing their operation without valid airworthiness certificates.
The African continent is once again an important protagonist of this group to which no airline would like to belong. Countries such as Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and Liberia stand out. It also happens with Sudan, Sierra Leone, Djibouti and Libya. In the nine mentioned, all companies are banned without exception. In some cases, the name of the airline is mentioned because it is commercially well-known, although in many cases and given the impossibility of having a clear control of who is who, by the authorities of each state, a generalization is made, indicating that all air carriers certified by these countries are prohibited within the Union.
In Zimbabwe and Nigeria, special mention is made of two airlines for security failures: Air Zimbabwe, the country's former flag carrier, known in its day for certain whims of its former president: Robert Gabriel Mugabe. With some frequency, it forced pilots to divert to other airports to pick up or drop off family, friends and commitments, taking advantage of the scheduled commercial trip. In the Nigerian case, the affected company is Med-View airline, a small charter that operates two Boeing 737s.
On the Asian continent, Afghanistan reappears on the list with its two main airlines indicated by the European authorities. One of them, Kam Air, was the involuntary protagonist of several well-known photos. It was when thousands of Afghans were trying to get on a plane to fly away from Afghanistan to coincide with the United States leaving the country and the return of the Taliban to power. Some Kam Air planes were taken by hundreds of people hoping to take off at some point, which did not happen. Interestingly, three of that airline's long-range aircraft are old Iberia Airbus A340s, which after being withdrawn from service were sold to Philippine airlines, and this company later sold them to this now banned Afghan operator.
A country totally banned in the field of commercial aviation is on the border between Europe and Asia: Armenia. In Central Asia, another country also has its commercial aviation restricted by the EU: Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyzstan or Kyrgyzstan, formerly part of the Soviet Union. Also in Iran and Iraq, two airlines are also mentioned: the private Iran Aseman and Iraqi Airways.
The blacklist also takes into account efforts by some aviation authorities to improve their safety standards. In that case, it admits partial vetoes both to complete airlines and to part of the fleet of others. In Venezuela, Avior Airlines, a company that operates a dozen Boeings and is based in Venezuelan Barcelona, enters the list. In a territory to the east of the previous country, Suriname, there is another banned airline: Blue Wing. It operates with small single and twin engines in northern South America.
Iran and North Korea share a common exception: only very specific planes escape the European veto. In the first case, those that are not Fokker 100 or Boeing 747 can fly over Europe or fly to it, while in the airline of Kim Jong-Un's country, only two units are considered safe according to EU criteria, they are These are two Russian-made Tupolev 204 aircraft that normally cover Air Koryo's most important international route: Pyongyang-Beijing