Previously imposed operating restrictions on Pakistan International Airlines have been lifted under the latest revision of the European Commission's list of airlines banned from operating in the European Union.

The revision also sees the ban lifted on Surinam carrier Blue Wing Airlines.

While the EC notes progress undertaken at currently banned operators TAAG Angola Airlines, Iranian carrier Mahan Air and Ukrainian-Mediterranean Airlines, it says it would be "premature" to withdraw these carriers from the list.

EC transport commissioner Jacques Barrot says: "This latest revision shows that when airlines take rapid and sound corrective action to comply with safety standards, they can be withdrawn from the list quickly. It also shows that the list increasingly serves as a pre-emptive rather than punitive tool for safeguarding aviation safety."

He adds: "There are now numerous instances where the community has successfully addressed potential safety threats with third countries and airlines in advance and before it is forced to take the drastic measure of imposing restrictions."

Blue Wing Airlines was named on the EU blacklist in June 2006, while PIA was partially banned in March this year when the EC restricted it to its Boeing 777-200 and 777-300 fleet to serve European destinations. The carrier was subsequently cleared to operate three of its Boeing 747-300s, two 747-200s and six Airbus A310-300s when the list was revised in June.