AFRAA attacks EU airline black listing


(eTN) – The African Airline Association (AFRAA), based in Nairobi, has come out strongly against the ban on LAM Mozambique in the most recent blacklist edition published by the European aviation oversight body.

Citing a “flawless record” since 1989, AFRAA questioned which rationale was used to include LAM in the list of banned carriers. A source in Brussels pointed to unanswered questions on maintenance, which could affect the ongoing air worthiness of LAM aircraft, and the temporary measures taken earlier in the year when LAM opted to wet-lease a B767 from Air Seychelles.

This arrangement, however, has since been discontinued by the new board and management at Air Seychelles, leaving LAM in a precarious position of having to fulfill EU maintenance requirements, a measure taken to avoid accidents rather than letting past record take precedence over fears for the future.

AFRAA, however, insists that the black list has become a tool for Europe to give unfair advantage to their own member state airlines, which readily absorbs traffic previously uplifted by airlines subsequently banned. AFRAA had, in the past, taken issue with the large number of African airlines and countries being put on the EU black list, but one source there had to quietly concede that continuous air worthiness of aircraft registered in certain parts of Africa and the supervision and enforcement of global regulation by certain African airlines remained an area of concern for the continental aviation body.