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All Afghan airlines banned from flying in Europe

The European Union banned today all Afghan airlines from flying in the 27-nation bloc due to the poor safety record of its civil aviation oversight system.

world Updated: Nov 23, 2010 20:59 IST

The European Union banned on Tuesday all Afghan airlines from flying in the 27-nation bloc due to the poor safety record of its civil aviation oversight system.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, also added Mauritania Airways to its black list of high-risk airlines along with new carriers from Gabon, Afric Aviation, and Kyrgyzstan, CAAS.

State-owned Ariana Afghan Airlines had been the only airline from Afghanistan on the list but the EU decided to extend the ban to the other three air carriers certified in the war-torn country.

The commission cited "safety deficiencies identified in its system to oversee civil aviation and on several carriers."

The EU executive said it was ready to provide active support to Afghanistan's efforts to improve civil aviation oversight and safety in cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Afghan transport minister Daoud Ali Najafi said earlier this month that he would go to Brussels to present an action plan to the EU's air safety panel that was authorised by President Hamid Karzai.

The privately-owned Kam Air, Safi Airways and Pamir Airways fly to Germany, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Central Asia and the Gulf.

No Afghan airlines fly to the United States.

The European Commission said it blacklisted Mauritania Airways due to "persisting deficiencies" in the operations and maintenance of the African air carrier that were identified during inspections in several EU states.

The EU removed nine operators from Kazakhstan from the list and partly lifted restrictions on Ghana's Airlift International.

Europe's flight blacklist includes carriers from 19 states, a total of 276 airlines.