Airlines that could kill you

Aviation safety is no small concern for the European Commission when it comes to airlines that could kill you. Airlines not up to standard are banned. Over 90 companies and 250 airlines are on the no-flight blacklist with African, Indonesian and Kazakhstan airlines dominating the list.

The 17th update of the so-called “blacklist” of airlines banned in the 27-nation European Union is serious business for the EU’s Safety Committee.

“The European Union now has a coherent approach to banning airlines”, said Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the Commission responsible for transport. “This black list will keep dubious airlines out of Europe. It will also make sure that all airlines operating in Europe’s sky meet the highest safety standards”.

In this latest update, airlines from the EU’s biggest member, Germany, were put on notice with a warning: Address safety issues or be grounded. Spanish carriers also received a warning to address safety concerns or be banned from skies over Europe.

“Germany and Spain are coming under fire because ramp inspections have shown an increase in the number of carriers registered in those countries with problems.” said Aviation Week noting “When the European Union upbraids an African country for lax aviation oversight it is, by now, par for the course. When the EU does so with its biggest member state, Germany, that is an entirely different issue.”

Spanish officials are working on a solution, examining carrier operations and suspending some operating certificates. Germany also increased oversight of some airlines but looks for improvement to happen next year.

Gadling reported on the possibility of a global blacklist in 2009 after a Yemenia Airbus A310 crashes with 154 passengers had once been on the black list for incomplete reporting on its fleet inspections.

Flickr photo by Hunter-Desportes

Airline Safety Info on the Web

For those of us venturing outside the warm embrace of the big carriers, the web has a bit of info about individual airline’s safety records.

For example, the FAA has a list of carriers that meet it’s standards here. It lists only those carriers allowed to fly to the U.S.

More comprehensive is the International Air Transport Association’s cite, listing those with a passing grade on their audit of 251 members. You can order the audit results via email.

The E.U. maintains a nice PDF list of airlines banned from European skies here. Interestingly, about half are based in Congo.

For more info, today’s NY Times has an article here which served as the source for these links above.