11 Apr 2022 13:47

EU adds 20 Russian airlines to Air Safety List over plane re-registration

MOSCOW. April 11 (Interfax) - The European Commission has reported having added 20 Russian airlines to the EU Air Safety List.

Aeroflot , Rossiya, Pobeda, Utair , S7, Avrora, Izhavia, Yakutia, UVT Aero, Smartavia, IrAero, Ural Airlines , Alrosa, Nordstar, RusLine, Yamal, Nordwind, IFly, RusJet and Aviastar-TU have been added to the list. The airlines have been prohibited from flying to the EU "because they do not meet international safety standards," the statement said.

"This reflects serious safety concerns due to Russia's forced re-registration of foreign-owned aircraft, knowingly allowing their operation without valid certificates of airworthiness," it said.

"The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency has allowed Russian airlines to operate hundreds of foreign-owned aircraft without a valid Certificate of Airworthiness," the statement quoted Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean as saying.

"The Russian airlines concerned have knowingly done so in breach of relevant international safety standards. This is not only a clear breach of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention), but it also poses an immediate safety threat," she said.

"We are living in the context of Russia's unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine. However, I want to make it crystal-clear that this decision is not another sanction against Russia; it has been taken solely on the basis of technical and safety grounds. We do not mix safety with politics," she said.

Before that, only one Russian airline was on the EU Air Safety List. The Kaliningrad-based Skol, which performed charter flights to Europe operated by small aircraft, was blacklisted at the end of last year. A court mandated an observation procedure for Skol in January.

Russian airlines do not fly to and from EU member states at present. A number of European countries closed their airspace for Russian airlines after the beginning of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.