Luxor Air has been banned from the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy after the Dutch civil aviation authority performed an inspection under the European Civil Aviation Conference safety assessment of foreign aircraft (SAFA) programme at Schiphol airport. The check revealed the airline's staff could not make a correct estimation of the aircraft's weight, did not know how to load it correctly and could not use approved manuals.
France also re-banned the Egyptian airline on 28 April just 13 days after ending the first ban imposed on 21 March after a near-crash over the western French city of Nantes (Flight International, 6-12 April). The ban was lifted on 16 April once Egyptian authorities had supplied satisfactory answers to the questions the French DGAC had raised concerning the airline.
The Dutch civil aviation authority says the first French ban alerted them to possible problems with Luxor Air, so "we decided to undertake a SAFA inspection which revealed problems with weight and balance". The Egyptian authorities were given a week to answer some questions but when the answers failed to appear the airline was banned from 24 April. "If we are satisfied that the airline has addressed the issues we raised, then the ban could be lifted," the Dutch authorities say.
These cross-border and near-simultaneous bans show that EU civil aviation authorities should have little trouble with legislation that will become mandatory within two years. This will require any EU state banning an airline to notify the European Commission, which can extend it throughout the EU.
CHRISTINA MACKENZIE / PARIS
Source: Flight International