Libya bars carriers from EU while Conviasa joins blacklist

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Libyan carriers will be barred from serving the European Union at least until November, under precautionary measures disclosed during Europe's latest blacklist revision.

The blacklist update also bans services from Venezuelan operator Conviasa, as a result of "safety concerns", says the European Commission.

Libyan safety oversight has given rise to "serious" safety issues, it adds, and a ban on the country's airlines will be imposed by the Libyan authorities until 22 November - and possibly longer.

This measure follows discussions with the Libyan civil aviation authority and the country's ministry of transport.

The European air safety committee has not, however, included Libyan airlines in its formal blacklist.

"Nonetheless, implementation of the measures decided by the Libyan authorities remains subject to close monitoring," says the Commission, which adds that the decision to restrict services is a "responsible" measure.

Venezuela's Conviasa has been added to the blacklist following "numerous safety concerns" arising from accidents involving the airline and ramp inspections at European airports.

Conviasa sustained a fatal accident involving an ATR 42 in September 2010, two years after one of the carrier's Boeing 737-200s crashed into terrain in Ecuador, killing the crew. The airline also suffered a gear collapse involving a De Havilland Canada DHC-7 in 2005.

Two other Venezuelan airlines - Estellar Latinoamerica and Aerotuy - are also being subjected to closer European scrutiny, following a review of their safety performance, but are not facing operational restrictions.