Five carriers feature on French 'blacklist'

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Flight International online news 8:30GMT: France’s civil aviation directorate has identified five carriers which have been banned from its territory over non-compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation regulations.

The French ‘blacklist’ reveals that the most recent ban was imposed in June this year on Thai carrier Phuket Air. The carrier suffered several regulatory setbacks in Europe after incidents involving the airline raised safety concerns.

Mozambique flag-carrier Linhas Aereas de Mocambique (LAM) is also on the list and the LAM ban extends to flights operated for the carrier by regional company Transairways.

North Korea’s Air Koryo, the reclusive state’s official airline, which operates a fleet of Soviet-era types on a limited route network, has been banned since April 2001.

Two other carriers were banned around March and April last year - Liberia’s International Air Services and small US-registered Caribbean operator Air St Thomas.

The companies listed have either been refused permission to land on French territory or had their existing authorisation withdrawn but the French civil aviation directorate, DGAC, says if any of the airlines provide information guaranteeing operations and maintenance conform with international standards, they  be will withdrawn from the list.

There has also been criticism of the list – containing carriers in remote countries, unlikely to be used by passengers – prompting a debate on whether the information is useful.

DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW/LONDON