Indonesia’s Lion Air has been removed from the EU’s aviation blacklist.
Releasing its updated EU Air Safety List this week, the European Commission confirmed that restrictions on Lion Air and its subsidiary, Batik Air, have now been lifted. Another Indonesian carrier, Garuda subsidiary Citilink, has also been removed from the list, along with Air Madagascar and all airlines in Zambia.
And significantly, most of Iran Air’s aircraft are now permitted to resume operations to the EU. Earlier this year Iran Air signed major aircraft orders with two EU companies, Airbus and ATR.
“I am happy to say that after seven years of work and extensive European technical assistance, we were able to clear all Zambian air carriers from the list,” said EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc. “Following my visit to Iran in April, a technical assessment was successfully carried out in May. Based on this I am happy to announce that we are now also able to allow most aircraft from Iran Air back into European skies.”
Lion Air, Batik Air and Citilink join Garuda and AirAsia Indonesia in being able to fly to destinations in the EU. At present however, only Garuda flies to Europe.
More than 200 airlines, including many from Asia, remain banned from EU airspace. These include all airlines based in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal and Kazakhstan, with the exception of Air Astana. North Korea’s national carrier Air Koryo, which is the world’s only one-star rated airline according to Skytrax, is permitted to operate under restricted conditions.
The majority of the EU blacklist however, is comprised of African carriers. Multiple African nations are subject to blanket bans, including Benin, Congo, DR Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone and Sudan.