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Mobility and Transport
News article25 March 2021Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport

Aviation Safety: Commission updates EU air safety list – Iran and Africa make progress

Aviation Safety: Commission updates EU air safety list – Iran and Africa make progress

Today the European Commission updated the EU Air Safety List, the list of airlines that do not meet international safety standards, and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. The EU Air Safety List seeks to ensure the highest level of air safety for European citizens, which is a top priority of the Aviation Strategy adopted in December 2015. The EU Air Safety List is one of the Union's main instruments to meet that objective.

Following today's update, all airlines certified in Zambia are cleared from the list, along with Air Madagascar and three airlines certified in Indonesia (Citilink, Lion Air and Batik Air). In addition most aircraft of Iran Air are allowed to resume operations to the EU.

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: "Aviation safety is my top priority and today's update illustrates our continuous efforts to offer the highest level of air safety to European citizens. I am happy to say that after seven years of work and extensive European technical assistance, we were able to clear all Zambian air carriers from the list. Following my visit to Iran in April, a technical assessment was successfully carried out in May. Based on this I am happy to announce that we are now also able to allow most aircraft from Iran Air back into European skies."

The EU Air Safety List not only helps to maintain high levels of safety in the EU, but it also helps affected countries to improve their levels of safety, in order for them to eventually be taken off the list. In addition, the Air Safety List has become a major preventive tool, as it motivates countries with safety problems to act upon them before a ban under the Air Safety List would become necessary.

Following today's update, a total of 216 airlines are banned from EU skies:

  • 214 airlines certified in 19 states (Afghanistan, Angola (with the exception of one airline which operates under restrictions and conditions), Benin, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon (with the exception of 2 airlines which operate under restrictions and conditions), Indonesia (with the exception of 7 airlines), Kazakhstan (with the exception of Air Astana), the Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Nepal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone and Sudan), due to a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these states.
  • Two individual airlines, based on safety concerns: Iraqi Airways (Iraq) and Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname).

An additional six airlines are subject to operational restrictions and can only fly to the EU with specific aircraft types: Afrijet and Nouvelle Air Affaires SN2AG (Gabon), Air Koryo (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), Air Service Comores (the Comoros), Iran Air (Iran) and TAAG Angola Airlines (Angola).

Background information

Today's update of the Air Safety List is based on the unanimous opinion of the safety experts from the Member States who met from 31 May to 2 June within the EU Air Safety Committee (ASC). This Committee is chaired by the European Commission with the support of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Assessment is made against international safety standards, and notably the standards promulgated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

As part of the Aviation Strategy presented in December 2015, the Commission announced its intention to evaluate Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005 which establishes the Air Safety List. This evaluation will assess the most efficient ways to further improve the protection of passengers against unsafe air carriers.

One such way is to work with aviation authorities worldwide to raise global safety standards. With the support of the European Commission, EASA is therefore implementing technical cooperation projects with partner countries and region. One example is the SIASA project (Supporting the improvement of air safety in Sub-Saharan Africa). Through this project, EASA works with Sub-Saharan African countries and regional organisations to raise common safety standards enhance safety oversight and reinforce expertise. (More information on technical cooperation projects )

For more information:

Commission updates the EU air safety list [IP/16/6284]

List of airlines banned within the EU

EASA Technical Cooperation Projects


Publication date
25 March 2021
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport