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France Issues Airline Blacklist

Guest Lottie

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Guest Lottie

France has published a blacklist of five airlines banned from its territory on safety grounds.

The list appeared on the website of the country's civil aviation authority (DGAC) on Monday morning.

Belgium and Switzerland have also promised to provide their own lists in the next few days.

The moves follow a plane crash in Venezuela on 16 August, in which 152 French passengers died on their way home to the island of Martinique.

Meanwhile on Saturday, at a meeting of the European Civil Aviation Conference in Bucharest, experts called for a Europe-wide definition of common criteria for blacklists.

The European Commission reached a deal in February to allow the creation of EU-wide blacklists of unsafe airlines by the end of the year.

But correspondents say it is unclear whether agreement on the blacklists is possible, with Italy calling for just a list of safe companies.

Charter transparency

The DGAC list said the banned airlines were:

Air Koryo, North Korea

Air Saint-Thomas, US Virgin Islands

International Air Service, Liberia

Air Mozambique (LAM), including its subsidiary Transairways

Phuket Airlines, Thailand.

In addition to the list of banned airlines, the DGAC site also published a list of authorised companies including charter airlines.

French Transport Minister Dominique Perben said last week that by the end of the year passengers taking charter or tour group flights would have the right to be told which company was operating the flight.

Checks on aircraft making stopovers at French airports will also be stepped up.

The French decision follows similar action in countries including the UK.

The Belgian Transport Ministry is to publish its own list on Monday.

Switzerland has already revealed the names of some banned airlines, but said it would publish a full list on Thursday.

Passenger revolt

On Wednesday night, 235 passengers of a Tunisian charter plane flying from Paris to the Tunisian island of Djerba refused to re-board a plane which was forced to return to Orly airport for checks shortly after take-off.

That incident came a week after the Venezuela crash, which involved a Colombian-owned plane.

August 2005 has been marked by a string of major plane disasters.

In less then two weeks, three planes have crashed in Greece, Venezuela and Peru - all three of them operated by minor airlines.

More than 300 people have lost their lives in the three accidents.

The issue of blacklisting came to prominence when 148 people - most of them French - died in January 2004 in a crash involving an airline which had been banned from Swiss airspace, a fact which the passengers had no way of knowing.


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  • Michelle


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blink.gif Has anything like this ever been done before?

And, Air Saint-Thomas? I don't know how well the airplanes are maintained, but the pilots have to be very good to land on their runway. It makes your heart skip a beat every time. unsure.gif

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