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Wed 15 Jul 2009 01:38 AM

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Yemenia escapes EU aviation safety blacklist

Airline will only be put on list after concrete safety lapses, not on basis of single accident.

Yemenia escapes EU aviation safety blacklist
SAFETY BLACKLIST: EU wants further meetings with Yemenia. (Getty Images)

Yemen airline Yemenia was not included on a new European Union aviation blacklist released Tuesday, despite safety concerns raised since 152 people were killed when one of its jets crashed last month."Work is still ongoing with Yemenia, with meetings planned, to understand what the situation is," said a transport spokesman at the European Commission, which manages the list.

Safety deficiencies saw all airlines from Zambia and Kazakhstan added to the list, which contains some 200 airlines or firms which are either banned from operating in Europe or only allowed under restrictions.

Only Kazakh air carrier Air Astana, whose operations into EU nations are frozen under strict restrictions, avoided a complete ban.

EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani said last week that an airline should only be placed on the list in response to concrete safety lapses and not on the basis of a single accident.

"It's not one accident that determines whether or not an airline is on the blacklist," he said. "If it has to do with the weather, you can't put the sky on the blacklist."

The commission was investigating safety standards at Yemenia Airways last year and almost put the company on its blacklist then, according to an EU legal document.

The document said that unspecified "deficiencies" had been noted during inspections on the company's aircraft in France, Germany and Italy.

It showed that the commission had insisted that Yemenia provide an "action plan" to both it and the 27 EU member states so that they could assess whether the company had addressed safety concerns.

"The commission considers that the corrective actions submitted by Yemenia must be fully implemented and closely monitored," said the text, a legal document from July 24, 2008 updating the blacklist.

When asked about what had happened over the last year, a commission transport spokesman said that the company had complied with its obligations, without elaborating.

The document also showed that Airbus and Yemenia had sealed a contract under which the plane manufacturer would train the company's pilots and engineers.

Under the deal, Airbus was to monitor maintenance and engineering work as well as the operations of Yemenia's aircraft.

The ill-fated Yemenia flight left Paris airport on June 29, when an Airbus A330-200 aircraft took off for the Yemeni capital Sanaa via Marseille.

In Yemen, the passengers changed to an Airbus A310 and departed for the Comoros via Djibouti, but the twin engine aircraft crashed into rough waters in the Indian Ocean off the Comoros islands.

A 12-year-old girl was the only survivor.

The EU's blacklist is regularly updated.

Most of the airlines targeted operate out of Africa, mainly in Angola, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Swaziland.

Some of them do not operate in Europe but their inclusion is bad for business, according to industry experts.

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Ali Saleh 11 years ago

These Guys should be monitored very carefully. Reckless behavior is part of the Yemeni life style, all you need to do is drive in Sanaa. There is truth to the statment " Flying Trash Can".

The Don 11 years ago

But those who are trying to issue this blacklist are: 1. Still didn't disclose the reasons behind the A330 breaking apart over ocean 2. They are manufacturers of aircrafts, spare parts, and maintenance service providers. So any blacklisting will lead to a surge in demand on their services beyond current levels regulated by globally agreed maintenance programs for each aircraft model.

Dr. S A Razzack 11 years ago

Yemenia might be responsible or taking high risk flying aricrafts which do not meet the required safety standards, but what if the rocket hypothesis proves to be correct and the Frech side turns to be wholly responsible. More important are the following questions: 1. why the French side is not allowing anybody to approach the crash. 2. What are the findings from the blackbox. 3. It was reported sometime ago that the pilot survived and found in unconcious state, where he disappeared. 4. Why the only survivor rushed back to France, whereas she was aiming the island? Friends we should have some patience, with time truth will float on the surface as did the dead bodies and the wreckage and perhaps the French authorities whill turn up with disclosed bottoms but huh they are shameless and they only hold the poor resposible. Another big issue is the Air France which crashed recently near Brazil, that aircraft had technical problems related to the wind speed monitors and rudders. After a while it was reported that Air France replaced such equipment for the whole fleet. They were supposed to be changed before the crash happened. Shouldn't Air France be considered to be placed on the black list as well or because they a super power they are exempted to be treated so. There is no justice in this world. How can we expect it from those who hate the Muslims. Aren't they racists???????????