Fear of flying

THE European Union has issued a blacklist banning nearly 100 airlines from operating in the region, saying they fail to meet international safety standards. While the blacklist is sure to invite strong reactions from the African countries, where most of these airlines are based, it is not possible to question the European Union’s argument.

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Published: Fri 24 Mar 2006, 10:18 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:17 PM

Most of these airlines are notorious for their appalling safety standards and lack of critically important maintenance and mechanical checks. The aircraft are dangerously antiquated. At least 50 of these air carriers operate from the Democratic Republic of Congo, 14 from Sierra Leone and seven from Swaziland. There are also others such as Phuket Airlines from Thailand and those from Central Asian states with their hopelessly obsolete aircraft from the Soviet times.

The EU move no doubt comes in response to the accidents involving these usual suspects worldwide. Who could forget those terrible two crashes in Nigeria last year that claimed hundreds of precious lives? This blacklist by the EU should lead to similar action elsewhere grounding the erring and dangerously reckless players and forcing others to pay necessary attention to safety standards. Life is precious. No one should be allowed to play around with it.

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