List of Banned Operators European Union: Legal Notes AFRAA Response

AFRAA AFRAA Responds To EU List of Airlines Banned from European Airspace
Media Release 06 April 2010

The African Airlines Association (AFRAA), based in Nairobi, Kenya, has expressed concern about the European Union’s latest list of airlines banned from the European airspace due to safety concerns. Thirteen of the 17 countries affected by the EU ban are from Africa, with a total of 111 African airlines “blacklisted.” “Air safety is AFRAA’s number one priority and we are the first to admit that Africa needs to improve its air safety record. However, while the EU list may be well-intended its main achievement has been to undermine international confidence in the African airline industry,” says Mr. Nick Fadugba, Secretary General of AFRAA. “The ultimate beneficiaries of the ban are European airlines which dominate the African skies to the disadvantage of African carriers. If any list is to be published, it should be done so by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the global regulator of aviation safety, which has a known track record of impartiality.” According to AFRAA, the EU list has the effect of damaging the reputation and business of many scheduled African airlines whose safety records and adherence to ICAO safety standards are comparable to the best airlines anywhere in the world.

The Association contends that a detailed examination of the EU list reveals some contradictions. For example, • The majority of the African airlines on the list have never operated scheduled flights to Europe, do not plan to do so and have no aircraft with the range to fly to any EU state.
• The list includes many airlines that only exist on paper and are not operational. The list indicates that neither the operating license nor the ICAO registration number of most of the banned airlines are known.

In contrast to the position taken by the EU on African air safety challenges, the USA introduced the “Safe Skies for Africa” initiative aimed at upgrading capacity, developing skills and providing infrastructure to improve safety. All this is being done at a time when only a few US carriers are operating to Africa. AFRAA calls upon the EU to emulate the good example of the US and launch an air safety improvement programme for Africa rather than issue a “blacklist” which has not proved to be helpful in solving the problem.

AFRAA is ready to engage the EU and other stakeholders in constructive dialogue to find an amicable solution to the air safety challenges in Africa. The Association similarly calls upon ICAO to play its role as the principal body responsible for the regulation of international civil aviation.

Notes for Editors
The African Airlines Association, also known by its acronym AFRAA, is a trade association of airlines which hail from the nations of the African Union. Founded in Accra, Ghana, in 1968, and today headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the primary purpose of AFRAA is to establish and facilitate co-operation among African airlines and represent their interests.

For further information, please contact:

The AFRAA Secretariat
Tel: +254 20 2320144 / 2320148

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