The latest blacklist issued by the European Union (EU) now also includes ALL airlines registered in the Republic of the Sudan, following a damning report by ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal, Canada, and added independent findings by the EU. The ban came into effect last Thursday, April 1, as safety standards in the country were described as “not up to international standards,” nor was enforcement and compliance with the acceptable range of regulations governing the global aviation industry.
There were several air accidents in the Sudan in recent months and years, all of them undermining the confidence in the regulator’s ability to effectively govern the industry. The ban reportedly applies to the following airlines: Sudan Airways, Sun Air, Marsland Aviation, Attico, 48 Aviation, and Azza Air Transport, while others not named here were reportedly also on the list, including the Sudanese State Aviation Company.
Predictably howls of outrage and cries of foul play came swiftly from Khartoum, where the Sudanese Community Association of Australia (SCAA) called the EU’s ban “unprofessional,” an interesting perspective of a regulatory body which presided over a series of air accidents under their professional care, while also, and equally predictably, blaming standing sanctions against the regime for the state of the aviation industry.
This development will undoubtedly further enhance the business of airlines in good standing, from which neighboring countries now fly to Juba and Khartoum and uplift passengers and cargo from there, such as Jetlink, East African Safari Air, or Fly540 from Nairobi, and Air Uganda from Entebbe. It could not immediately be established if regional aviation regulators would react to the news from Brussels and also ban these Sudanese-registered airlines from flying to their airports and subject them on landing to special ramp checks to ascertain that not only all mandatory documents are on board their aircrafts but also that proper maintenance has been carried out and the crews are duly licensed.
The Sudan as well as the Congo DR both have a horrendous safety record and arguably lead air accident statistics for Africa by far. Other African countries which suffer a total ban of all their registered airlines are Djibouti, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Swaziland, and Zambia, while Angola and Gabon have several of their airlines banned with a handful of others permitted to fly to the EU under strict supervision and conditionalities.