Yemenia airline avoids EU blacklist despite crash

The European Union added all airlines from Djibouti, the Republic of Congo and Sao Tome and Principe to its airline safety blacklist, but Yemenia Yemen Airways avoided inclusion despite a fatal crash in June.

EU authorities threatened Yemenia with a ban if it failed to act after one of its airliners crashed in the Indian Ocean in June, killing all but one of the 153 passengers and crew on board.
“The efforts deployed by Yemenia to correct the identified safety deficiencies in the various audits are acknowledged,” the European Commission said in a statement.
“The list was extended to include all air carriers certified in Djibouti, Republic of Congo and Sao Tome and Principe because of safety deficiencies identified in the system of oversight by the aviation authorities of these countries,” it added.
The Commission noted evidence that airlines registered in Sao Tome and Principe suffered an unusually high level of accidents, and also that it was becoming a haven for dangerous airlines attempting to circumvent bans on their home countries.
“There is evidence that some air carriers currently subject to an operating ban within the European Community have been relocating part of their activity in Sao Tome and Principe,” it said in a statement.
The ban on the Republic of Congo came after International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) raised safety concerns, and follows the crash of a cargo aircraft in August, which killed all six occupants.
The Commission reported progress by Angola’s state-owned airline TAAG, allowing the carrier to increase the number of aircraft it uses on flights to Portugal.
TAAG was banned from the EU in 2007, leading to massive financial losses, but the government is trying to turn it around after sacking the entire board of directors last November. It suspended a pilot in April for accidentally landing at the wrong airport.