Revised EU blacklist allows PIA to use 747s and A310s

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European Commission regulators have detailed the easing of restrictions on Pakistan International Airlines, allowing the flag-carrier to operate another 11 airframes of various types on services to the European Union.

PIA was added to the EC’s blacklist in March this year and informed that it would only be allowed to use its Boeing 777-200 and 777-300 fleet to serve European destinations.

But the latest revision to the blacklist, formally published today, grants PIA the freedom to operate three of its Boeing 747-300s, two 747-200s and six of the carrier’s Airbus A310-300s.

The new blacklist confirms the banning of all 51 carriers certified in Indonesia – including flag-carrier Garuda Indonesia, Mandala Airlines, Lion Airlines, Merpati Nusantara Airlines and the Indonesia AirAsia division of Malaysian budget operator AirAsia – although the prohibition is largely academic as no carriers from Indonesia operate to Europe.

Garuda Indonesia, nevertheless, stresses in a statement that it has carried out “various improvement and safety enhancement measures” in accordance with Government regulations.

“One of the important aspects introduced by Garuda Indonesia was the adoption of a safety culture by Garuda employees at all levels and in all areas of the company’s activity, putting special emphasis among others on flight operations, aircraft maintenance and repair, and education and training,” it says.

The revised European list features a total ban on Angolan flag-carrier TAAG Angola Airlines – which suffered a fatal Boeing 737-200 accident on 28 June, shortly after the EC’s air safety committee agreed to blacklist the airline – and the Kiev-based cargo operator Volare, which operates Ilyushin Il-76 and Antonov An-12s.

Russia, Bulgaria and Moldova have already taken separate measures to suspend or restrict more than 20 local carriers, in order to stay off the blacklist. There are no changes to the EC’s blanket ban on five African states and the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan.