Europe extends blanket airline ban to Kyrgyzstan

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Safety regulators have extended to Kyrgyzstan an outright ban from operating within Europe, the sixth country to come under a blanket prohibition since the European Commission’s (EC) creation of its airline ‘blacklist’ earlier this year.

All carriers under the regulatory oversight of Kyrgyzstan will be forbidden from performing European services.

The EC, in its second quarterly update to its blacklist, lists 27 operators in the republic – including flag-carrier Kyrgyzstan Airlines and Altyn Air – as being among those to which the restriction applies.

Kyrgyz-registered aircraft had already come under EC scrutiny; the previous blacklist update in June included the carrier Sky Gate International, an operator linked to Jordan but which had a number of aircraft bearing Kyrgyz registrations.

Kyrgyzstan becomes the first state outside Africa to be hit with the blanket ban, which so far has covered five other countries: Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Swaziland and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

From these states only a single Lockheed L-1011 aircraft, operated by the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Hewa Bora Airways, has been cleared to carry out services to Europe.

Eight other individual airlines are banned from Europe: Air Koryo of North Korea, Ariana Afghan Airlines, Rwanda’s Silverback Cargo Freighters, plus five Central Asian, Latin American and African operators identified as Blue Wing Airlines, DAS Air Cargo, Dairo Air Services, GST Aero, and BGB Air.

Alongside Hewa Bora Airways, three other airlines – Air Bangladesh, Sudan’s Air West, and Air Service Comores – are subject to individual airframe restrictions.