Air Zimbabwe blacklisted over EU skies due to safety concerns
May 19, 2017: Zimbabwe’s national carrier, Air Zimbabwe has been blacklisted by the European Union (EU) from operating in EU skies. Air Zimbabwean was the one of two national carriers on the latest blacklist which comprised six other airlines as follows: Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran), Iraqi Airways (Iraq) and Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname), Med-View Airlines (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St Vincent and the Grenadines), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine).
The European Commission has recently updated the European Union Air Safety List of the non-European airlines that do not meet international safety standards and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. According to the updated list, all airlines certified in Benin and Mozambique are cleared from the list, following further improvements to the aviation safety situation in these countries.
Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for Transport said, "I am glad that we are able to take all carriers from Benin and Mozambique out of the air safety list. Their reforms have paid off. This is also a signal to the 16 countries that remain on the list. It shows that work and cooperation pays off. The Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency are ready to assist them and raise the safety standards worldwide".
The airline, owned by the Zimbabwean government, is debt-ridden to a reported tune of USD 300 million.
With the latest updates which took effect on May 16, 2017, a total of 181 airlines is banned from EU skies. 174 airlines certified in 16 states, due to a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these states.