Following the removal from the notorious EU aviation blacklist of Mauritania, Swaziland has also been taken off the ban list, allowing airlines from that country to apply for traffic rights to any of the European Union (EU) member states.
The latest 23rd edition of the list is now available through the EU website and still covers much of the African continent with blanket bans on countries’ airlines not being able to fly to Europe, leaving the routes to other carriers of what many Africans see as a tilted market mechanism aimed to prevent or reduce competition, a suggestion regularly denied by the EU officials who claim that the only foundation for that list is aviation safety.
Africa as a continent has the worst aviation safety record and while much progress has been made and the continent has produced some of the world’s better known airlines like Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Reunion based Air Austral, Air Mauritius and Air Seychelles, many of the countries on the banned list still need to make progress. ICAO has been working hand in hand with IATA to improve the understanding and competence of aviation regulators and of airline executives and the ongoing process of IOSA certification has been generally credited to make air transport safer.
EU officials reportedly did say that several countries have made progress towards greater aviation oversight, a better regulatory regime and better enforcement of aviation safety measures, among them Mozambique and Zambia.