RP airlines banned from the EU along with those of Kazakhstan, Sudan, Angola

Philippine air carriers have been blacklisted by the European Commission (EC), restricting our airlines from flying into any of the European Unions's 27 territories, reports ABS-CBN News.

A total of 17 countries (287 airline companies) including Sudan, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan join the Philippines in the EC's list for not adhering to international avaiation safety standards.

"Safety comes first," said EC Vice-President Siim Kallas, "We are ready to support countries that need to build up technical and administrative capacity to guarantee the necessary standards in civil aviation. But we cannot accept that airlines fly into the EU if they do not fully comply with international safety standards."

EU Ambassador Alistair MacDonald told the Philippine Star that the several deficiencies noted by the The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2008 have not yet been corrected as of the inspection held in November 2009.

Although the EC recognized the efforts implemented by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Airlines to ensure passenger safety, the carriers were still banned with a promise from the EC to support the airlines until they are able to meet the standards. Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) head Alfonso Cusi disagreed with the EC's assessment. He asserted, "Our aircrafts meet the international standards in safety....I have invited the EU safety aviation commission to come to the Philippines for re-inspection this May to show that we have corrected the problem they have raised," he told the Star, defending the advancements made after last year's inspection.

The 17 countries whose airlines are currently banned by the European Union are:

1. Angola
2. Benin
3. the Democratic Republic of Congo
4. Djibouti
5. Equatorial Guinea
6. Gabon
7. Indonesia
8. Kazakhstan
9. Kyrgyztan
10. Liberia
11. Philippines
12. Republic of Congo
13. Sierra Leone
14. Sao Tome and Principe
15. Sudan
16. Swaziland
17. Zambia


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