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Kazakh, Ukraine, Thai airlines added to EU blacklist

Published on 13/04/2009

Brussels — The European Commission said Wednesday that it had blacklisted over safety concerns six airlines from Kazakhstan, one from Ukraine, one from Thailand and all carriers certified in Benin.

"Air passengers are entitled to feel safe and be safe when their plane takes off," EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani said in a statement, after Brussels updated its blacklist of more than 200 airlines or firms of concern.

The new firms banned from flying in Europe are: Air Company Kokshetau, ATMA Airlines, Berkut Air, East Wing, Sayat Air and Starline KZ — from Kazakhstan — One Two Go Airlines from Thailand and Ukraine’s Motor Sich Airlines.

The commission noted that Angola had been making "good progress" in improving airline safety, but no company was taken off the list.

Most of the airlines targeted operate out of Africa, mainly in Angola, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Swaziland.

Some of the airlines on the list do not operate in Europe, but their inclusion could be bad for business.

The ban comes into force on Friday.