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I just recently read some news about a missing an airplane and how bad the reputation of a country airlines is. More than 90% of their companies were banned from flying in Europe

That makes me wonder that, when traveling outside Europe/US it might be wise to choose companies that are authorized to travel to Europe since they enforce stricter rules in airplane security.

I found a banned list of companies, but actually there may be companies that aren't banned just for the single fact that they never applied to fly in Europe. So the fact that the company is not listed doesn't make it safe.

Is there a list of authorized airline companies in Europe?

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    travel.stackexchange.com/questions/2346/… might be of interest. – Relaxed Oct 2 '15 at 12:53
  • It is easier to maintain a small list of banned airlines than keeping a large list of authorized airlines. – Max Oct 2 '15 at 12:55
  • Why would the EU maintain a “white list” of authorised airlines that have never requested any authorisation? I don't think there is one but if there were, it would presumably suffer from the same limitation. – Relaxed Oct 2 '15 at 12:55
  • @Relaxed, that's not what I asked. I asked for the current whitelist in Europe. What I said, and I hope I was clear, is that having the blacklist is not enough. – nsn Oct 2 '15 at 13:03
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    @nsn I understood that, and that's precisely why I am explaining to you that I don't think there is any white list and why that is. – Relaxed Oct 2 '15 at 13:09
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I don't think there is anything like that. And even though there is a whole process with a right of appeal, the airlines on the EU black list typically haven't specifically “applied” to fly in the EU. In fact, all airlines certified by some countries (like Afghanistan or both Congo) are automatically banned.

With a few exceptions (say Garuda Indonesia, which flies long-haul routes and did fight to get off the list and gain the right to send at least some aircrafts to the EU), airlines on the list don't care at all because they never planned to operate in Europe in the first place. I even have a (somewhat cynical) friend who speculates that this is the point: The EU is seen as doing something without actually bothering anyone (that friend is incidentally working for the EU but not involved in this directly).

  • Let me see if understand. A company is blacklisted as default even if they never applied to fly to Europe? – nsn Oct 2 '15 at 13:07
  • @nsn They first get informed of the EU's intent to blacklist them as do the authorities of the country that issued their airline license but yes that's basically the process as far as I understand it. In fact, most of these airlines do not even operate any aircraft that could reach Europe and only fly domestic routes. – Relaxed Oct 2 '15 at 13:09
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    The only exceptions are a handful of flag carriers (Garuda Indonesia, TAAG from Angola, Lignes aériennes congolaises), some of which are still on the list but have obtained exceptions covering precisely the aircrafts they use for long-haul routes to Europe, which tells you something about the way the whole thing is handled. – Relaxed Oct 2 '15 at 13:15
  • yes, the list is largely a political instrument. I worked for Garuda in Amsterdam when they were put on the list for supposed violations which had no relation at all to their long haul operations (they had suffered a number of accidents on internal short haul routes and had some drugs problem with short haul crew). What was the real cause (at least according to Garuda staff I worked with) was the strong position Garuda had at Frankfurt in the cargo business, which was threatening Lufthansa's cargo operations to Asia. The ban removed a major competitor for LH's operations there... – jwenting Oct 5 '15 at 7:22

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