Page last updated at 16:50 GMT, Wednesday, 8 April 2009 17:50 UK

Benin joins EU aviation blacklist

An airliner (file pic)
Air safety experts advised the Commission for its airline audit

The EU's blacklist of airlines banned from flying to the 27-nation bloc has been expanded to include all of Benin's carriers and six based in Kazakhstan.

The updated list also includes One Two Go Airlines of Thailand and Motor Sich Airlines of Ukraine. The banned airlines are considered to be unsafe.

The European Commission says Angola and Indonesia have made improvements but it is maintaining a ban on their airlines.

The last such commission list came out in November 2008.

All airlines certified in the West African state of Benin are banned "on the basis of the negative results of an audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)," the commission said on Wednesday.

The six Kazakh airlines on the list are: Air Company Kokshetau, ATMA Airlines, Berkut Air, East Wing, Sayat Air and Starline KZ.

The new list takes effect on Friday. EU member states can still take aviation safety measures at national level if they have an issue specifically affecting them.

In addition to Motor Sich Airlines, three other Ukrainian carriers are banned: Ukraine Cargo Airways, Ukraine Mediterranean Airlines and Volare Aviation.

The list also imposes a total ban on airlines based in Equatorial Guinea, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Gabon - save for Gabon Airlines and Afrijet, which have exemptions for a small number of aircraft.

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