EU bans unsafe Air Zimbabwe from flying in its airspace

Zimbabwe's national airline, Air Zimbabwe, has been banned from flying in EU airspace because it fails to meet international safety standards.

Zimbabwe’s national airline, Air Zimbabwe, has been banned from flying in EU airspace because it fails to meet international safety standards.

The stricken airline is on the European Commission’s Aviation Safety List of airlines banned or restricted from operating in the European Union.

More than 100 airlines are listed, including 21 certified Russian airlines.

The commission said the 117 airlines had been banned because they “failed to meet international safety standards”.

The commission said in a statement: “Ninety airlines certified in 15 different states due to insufficient safety oversight by aviation authorities in those states; 21 airlines certified in Russia, plus six individual airlines from other states based on serious safety deficiencies identified: Avior Airlines (Venezuela), Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname), Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran), Iraqi Airways (Iraq ), Med-View Airlines (Nigeria) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).

“Two other airlines are subject to operating restrictions and are only allowed to fly to the EU with certain types of aircraft: Iran Air (Iran) and Air Koryo (North Korea),” the statement of the EU reads.

The Commission said the updated EU safety list had been drawn up with the help of national aviation safety experts.

Air Zimbabwe, a state-owned airline, is saddled with huge debt, owing more than $300 million to foreign and domestic creditors.

In 2019, the airline was suspended by Airports Company SA (Acsa) for non-payment of airport taxes.

Last year, the airline resumed operations after a year-and-a-half hiatus due to operational challenges and the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the past, the airline has been grounded due to engine failures and malfunctions.

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