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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 January 2004, 12:19 GMT
Swiss publish banned planes list
The Flash aircraft which crashed being checked at Stavanger
The aircraft which crashed had been banned from Swiss airspace
Swiss aviation authorities have published a partial list of airlines some of whose aircraft have been banned from Swiss airports.

Authorities said they named only seven companies already mentioned by the media, and kept others secret.

The namings follow the Flash Airline crash in Egypt on 3 January, in which 148 people died - and the revelation that the aircraft had been banned from Swiss airspace.

The UK broke with established practice

last week by publishing a list of airlines from eight countries banned from its airports over the last three years.

Airlines with banned planes
Silk Way (Azerbaijan/Belgium)
Flash Airlines (Egypt)
Jr Executive (Lebanon/USA)
Premium Air Shuttle (Nigeria)
Dniproavia (Ukraine)
GIR Jet (Spain)
All the aircraft on the Swiss list, published on Wednesday, were passenger planes, except for one Boeing used for freight by the Belgian-Azerbaijani airline, Silk Way.

Authorities from the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (OFAC) held back from revealing the names of all the companies that own a total of more than 20 prohibited planes.

They stressed that the bans were based on the inspection on a specific day, of a single plane, and did not apply to a company's entire fleet, they said.

We have a right to know whether it is sensible to get on an aircraft
British MP David Wilshire

In the wake of the Red Sea disaster, Swiss consumer groups and travel agencies have been insisting that they have a right to know the full list of aircraft banned for safety reasons.

But the authorities say there are "delicate questions linked to data protection and civil responsibility" which they must consider before going public with the information.

OFAC Director Max Friedli said last week that there was an international "gentleman's agreement" to keep aviation blacklists confidential.

The UK has made public the names of all the airlines it has banned - but not those of two others banned by another European country which are still able to fly to the UK.

Conservative MP David Wilshire, who prompted the government to name the blacklisted airlines, has now asked for this information as well.

Mr Wilshire told BBC News: "If a government bans an airline from its airspace it has to have a good reason.

"And we have a right to know whether it is sensible to get on an aircraft."

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