EU tightens restrictions on Iran Air, blacklists Suriname’s Blue Wing Airlines


BRUSSELS – The European Union tightened restrictions on the use of its airspace by Iran Air on Tuesday because of safety concerns and added an airline from Suriname to its no-flight blacklist.

EU regulators also removed two companies from Indonesia, Metro Batavia and Indonesia Air Asia, from the blacklist after Indonesian authorities made “significant” safety improvements, a European Commission spokeswoman said.

The commission’s air safety committee unanimously decided to expand its restrictions on Iran Air, forbidding its fleet of Airbus A320 and Boeing 727 and 747 planes from flying in European air space.

The decision was based on the conclusions made after a visit to Iran by the commission with experts from EU states and the European Aviation Safety Agency, which found that Iran had not implemented safety measures announced in March.

The European Commission said it would continue to “closely monitor the performance of the airline” by examining the results of ground inspections on company aircraft that are still allowed to operate in the EU.

Iran Air may still operate 23 planes in the 27-nation bloc, including 14 Airbus A300s, eight A310s and one Boeing 737.

The updated blacklist includes 282 airlines from 21 countries that are not allowed to fly to the European Union.

The commission said it decided to add Suriname’s Blue Wing Airlines to the list of banned companies because of a “series of accidents suffered by this airline” and “serious deficiencies” seen during ground inspections.

“We cannot afford to compromise on air safety,” European transport commissioner Siim Kallas said in a statement.