EU expands safety ban on Iran Air flights
Brussels, July 6, 2010
The European Union has extended a flight safety ban on Iran Air to exclude more of the carrier's aircraft from EU airspace, the European Commission said on Tuesday.
Two thirds of the Iran Air fleet is now prohibited from flying into the airspace of the 27-country EU, Commission spokeswoman Helen Kearns said.
She denied the move was linked to sanctions on Iran aimed at halting its nuclear programme, or to accusations the sanctions have prevented Iranian aircraft from refuelling in European airports.
'We deal purely with safety requirements -- our controls take place at a highly technical level to ensure security standards are being respected,' she told a news conference.
A Commission statement said an EU air safety committee had unanimously supported expanding the restrictions on Iran Air to cover its fleet of Airbus A320, Boeing 727 and 747 aircraft.
Meanwhile, Indonesian carriers Metro Batavia and Indonesia Air Asia have been removed from the blacklist after improvements in the southeast Asian country's oversight.
Blue Wing Airlines from Surinam was added to the banned list, following 'a series of accidents suffered by this airline and serious deficiencies revealed during ramp inspections'. – Reuters