The European Commission has updated its list of airlines banned from operating in European airspace because they fail to meet international safety standards.
Under the revision, 97 operators are prohibited from flying over Europe, which is actually down on the 103 listed previously.
This is because several Moldovan companies were removed from the blacklist "following improvements in air safety in the country”.
They include Air Moldova, HiSky and FlyOne, which serves France.
All airlines from 15 countries now make up most of the EU's blacklist. The countries are Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Nepal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Sudan.
These bans are "due to inadequate safety oversight by the aviation authorities of these nations”, the EU Commission said.
'Serious safety deficiencies'
Seven other airlines are also banned: Venezuela's Avior Airlines, Suriname's Blue Wing Airlines, Iran Aseman Airlines, Iraqi Airways, Nigeria's Med-View Airlines, Russia's Skol Airlines, and Air Zimbabwe.
The Commission said the identification of “serious safety deficiencies" was behind the decision to include them on the blacklist, French TV channel BFM reported.
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“Maintaining the highest level of safety for all air travellers and personnel is a top priority,” Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean has said in the past.
“The EU's Air Safety List remains one of our most effective tools to achieve this.
Meanwhile the Commission's website says: “Ensuring the highest level of aviation safety for Europeans and all other passengers travelling to and within the European Union is at the heart of the Commission's aviation safety policy."