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EU updates 'air safety list:' Eritrea banned, Mauritania OK

The European Commission has updated its list of airlines subject to bans within the EU to include airlines certified in Eritrea. Previously banned airlines from Mauritania have been removed from the ban list.

Hamburg/ Mitarbeiter montieren am Dienstag (17.01.12) in Hamburg in einer Werkhalle des Luftfahrtkonzerns Airbus Flugzeuge der Airbus A320-Familie. Viele Flugzeuge verkauft, aber wenig Gewinn gemacht - das soll fuer den europaeischen Luft- und Raumfahrtkonzern EADS und die wichtigste Tochter Airbus endlich Vergangenheit sein. EADS ist eine Cash- und Wachstumsmaschine. Jetzt ist es an der Zeit, die Rentabilitaet zu steigern, sagte der Vorstandsvorsitzende Louis Gallois am Dienstag auf der Jahrespressekonferenz in Hamburg. Airbus verzeichnete im vergangenen Jahr mit 1.608 Neubestellungen das beste Jahr seiner Geschichte und verwies den ewigen Konkurrenten Boeing mit 921 Bestellungen auf den zweiten Platz. Foto: Philipp Guelland/dapd

Airbus Produktionshalle

In a statement released Tuesday on the European Commission's website, the bloc's vice president for transport said Eritrean air carriers were no longer certified to fly in the EU.

"Safety must always come first," Siim Kallas said in the statement, "and we cannot accept any compromise in this area, hence the decision on Eritrea."

The airlines that had received their certification in Eritrea were subject to an operating ban because of "an outstanding safety concern notified by [International Civil Aviation Organization] and to the absence of adequate mitigating measures taken by the competent authorities of Eritrea."

Air carriers certified in Mauritania were removed from the EU's banned list because of safety advancements in the country. Jordan Aviation, which was certified in Jordan, has also been taken off the list after an on-site assessment done by the European Commission.

The statement noted that restrictions on Libyan airlines would remain in place as aviation authorities there worked toward meeting international standards. The decision to keep Libyan airlines on the list was backed by the Libyan authorities.

In total, the European air safety list includes 287 air carriers that are banned from operating in the EU.