The European Union (EU) has lifted its five-year ban on Philippines carriers, allowing them to return to EU skies for the first time in five years. In fact, Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Air already operate to Europe, having satisfied the EU on the matter.
The Bangkok Post pointed out that whereas Thailand is looking “down the barrel of worldwide aviation sanctions over its air-safety standards”, Philippines-based carriers are now in the clear, following the EU action.
The EU decision removes the final section of an EU flight ban against the Philippines imposed in 2010. The EU eased the ban a little in 2013 when it allowed Philippine Airlines (PAL) to fly in Europe. It then relaxed the restrictions further, letting Cebu Air operate into the 28-nation EU zone.
“After five years of hard work, we are finally able to clear the airlines certified in the Philippines,” EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said in a statement on Thursday in Brussels.
In March 2010, The EU put all Philippine carriers on its blacklist over shortcomings in industry regulation.
In a similar move, Thailand was “red-flagged” earlier this month by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) after a failed audit of Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).
Thailand escaped an EU ban Thursday when the European Commission declined to place the country on its air-safety watch list.
THAI has issued a statement pointing out that it meets strict safety criteria and the ICAO sanction relates to aviation supervision by the DCA in Thailand, not specifically to THAI. See: Thai reassures flyers that safety standards are highest
Written by William Sykes