Calls for worldwide airline blacklist

June 30, 2009

, BRUSSELS, Jun 30 – EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani called on Tuesday for a worldwide blacklist of unsafe airlines after a Yemeni airliner crashed off the coast of the Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros.

"My idea is to propose a worldwide blacklist similar to the one we have in the European Union," Tajani told journalists in Brussels.

"If we want to achieve better safety I\’m convinced that we need to have a worldwide blacklist, the European blacklist works pretty well in Europe," he said. "It would be a safety guarantee for all"

"Otherwise it\’s going to be difficult to have an adequate level of safety."

France\’s transport minister said that French inspectors had noted numerous faults on the Yemenia jet that crashed Tuesday with 153 people on board and the company was already being closely monitored by EU authorities.

Tajani said that commission experts would be contacting Yemenia and that the European blacklist would be updated soon, noting that the airline was not currently on the list.

He said they would try "to find out what happened and to check the level of safety" as far as the plane was concerned.

The Yemenia flight started in a Paris airport Monday when an Airbus A330-200 aircraft took off for Marseille and then on to the Yemeni capital Sanaa. There passengers changed to an Airbus A310 and departed for the Comoros via Djibouti.

"It\’s a shame that they changed aircraft, because the controls in Europe are very, very severe and we have a blacklist, but this blacklist is only valid in Europe," Tajani said.

The EU\’s blacklist, which is regularly updated, contains the names of more than 200 airlines or firms of concern which are either banned from operating in Europe or only allowed under strict restrictions.

Most of the airlines targetted operate out of Africa, mainly in Angola, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Swaziland.

Some of them do not operate in Europe, but their inclusion would undoubtedly be bad for business.

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