September 14, 2012
Tony Tyler, president and director general of the International Air Transport Association, is calling the EU’s ban on foreign carriers a “misguided approach that does little if anything to improve safety.”
Speaking at a forum in Astana, Kazakhstan, Tyler said, “There is no transparency, no clarity on why some carriers are put on the list and no clear indication of what is required to get off the list.”
One Kazakhstan-designated carrier, Air Astana, is permitted into EU, and even that airline—which is 49% owned by European defense company BAE Systems—is only allowed to operate aircraft it flew prior to the 2009 ban.
“Some aspects of how the list is administered are absolutely absurd,” said Tyler, noting that with Air Astana, it makes no sense to prevent its newest aircraft from entering EU airspace.
“How could that possibly improve safety?” said Tyler.
Tyler adds that the EU’s policy also stigmatizes a banned country’s air transport industry.