EU Releases Black List of Airlines

Europe Says No to These Airlines

airplane in flight
••• Aaron Foster/DigitalVision/Getty Images

The European Union has released its latest EU Air Safety List, made up of airlines that don't meet international safety standards. Those on the EU list are either banned or have operational restrictions imposed when they fly within the EU region.  

The EU Air Safety List seeks to ensure the highest level of air safety for European citizens, which is a top priority of the Aviation Strategy adopted by the region in December 2015.

 Before you fly, it may be a good idea to see what airlines are simply not considered European airport-worthy. The list does change from time to time as some airlines improve their safety records while others worsen.

For example, all airlines certified in Benin and Mozambique have been cleared from the black list, following both countries' further improvements in aviation safety. However, airlines Med-View (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe) were added to the list due to unaddressed safety deficiencies were detected by the European Aviation Safety Agency during an assessment.

The list is compiled of 181 airlines that are banned from EU skies, including 174 certified in 16 countries due to a lack of safety oversight by their respective aviation authorities. Seven airlines, based on safety concerns with regard to their operations were added to the list: Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran), Iraqi Airways (Iraq) and Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname), Med-View Airlines (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St Vincent and the Grenadines), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).

Another six airlines can only fly to the EU with specific aircraft types: Afrijet and Nouvelle Air Affaires SN2AG (Gabon), Air Koryo (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), Air Service Comores (the Comoros), Iran Air (Iran) and TAAG Angola Airlines (Angola).

The airlines (and the countries they are from), that are blacklisted by the European Union:

  • Afghanistan – all airlines are banned
  • Angola – all airlines are banned except TAAG Angola Airlines
  • Republic of Congo – all airlines are banned
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo - all airlines are banned
  • Djibouti – all airlines are banned
  • Equatorial Guinea - all airlines are banned
  • Eritrea – all airlines are banned
  • Gabon – all airlines are banned except Afrijet and Nouvelle Air Affaires Gabon (but both are restricted by aircraft type)
  • Indonesia – all airlines banned except Garuda Indonesia, Airfast Indonesia, Ekspres Transportasi Antarbenua, Indonesia Air Asia, Citilink, Lion Air and Batik Air
  • Iraq - Iraqi Airways
  • Iran - Iran Aseman Airlines
  • Kazakhstan – all airlines are banned except Air Astana
  • Kyrgyz Republic – all airlines are banned
  • Liberia – all airlines are banned
  • Libya – all airlines are banned
  • Mozambique – all airlines are banned
  • Nepal – all airlines are banned
  • Nigeria - Med-View Airline
  • Sao tome and Principe – all airlines banned
  • Sierra Leone - all airlines are banned
  • St. Vincent & Grenadines - Mustique Airways
  • Sudan – all airlines are banned
  • Suriname – all airlines are banned
  • Ukraine – URGA
  • Zambia – all airlines banned
  • Zimbabwe – all airlines are banned

There are several other airlines that have flight restrictions for travel into EU countries, but are not entirely banned from flying in and out of Europe:

  • Angola - TAAG Angola Airlines
  • Comoros – Air Service Comores
  • Gabon – Afrijet Business Service, Nouvelle Air Affaires Gabon
  • Iran – Iran Air
  • Kazakhstan – Air Astana
  • North Korea – Air Koryo
  • Madagascar – Air Madagascar

The List in its entirety published by the European Union can be accessed here.