BRUSSELS (AFP) -All 51 Indonesian airlines will be banned from flying to the European Union from next week after EU air safety experts deemed them to be unsafe, the European Commission said Thursday.
The experts’ decision, which includes national flag carrier Garuda, comes after four recent crashes in the Asian archipelago and the failure of Indonesian authorities to provide adequate safety assurances, an EU official said.
Although no Indonesian airlines currently fly regularly to and from the EU, the ban could have a big impact on European passengers travelling with Indonesian airlines outside the EU.
Under European rules, passengers must be informed if an airline is on the list of banned carriers and can demand reimbursement or an alternative carrier for tickets bought in Europe for flights that do not enter EU skies.
The ban will become official when the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, endorses the experts’ recommendation to ban Indonesian airlines on July 6, in its latest update to the EU’s list of unsafe airlines.
The air safety experts also decided to include the Ukrainian freight carrier Volare and the Angolan company TAAG Angola Airlines on the list of carriers banned from plying European skies.
They increased however the number of aircraft in Pakistan International Airlines’ fleet allowed to fly to Europe from seven to 19 of the carrier’s 43 airplanes.
In addition, 10 Russian companies, six from Bulgaria and eight from Moldova will stop flying to the EU after authorities in those countries banned them from making EU flights, according to the Commission.