I first raised Ariana Afghan Airlines safety issues two years ago.
An open secret in Europe has been that the airline is a ticking timebomb waiting for a crash, but nothing was done at the behest of US diplomacy, which wanted to see the Afghanistan carrier succeed.
Now that the E.U. has created an airline blacklist, Ariana Afghan is on it along with 91 other carriers, mostly from Africa.
Some of this is certainly grandstanding, and no doubt politics comes into play in the creation of the list (and just because an airline isn’t on it doesn’t make that carrier necessarily safe).
I notice that North Korea’s Air Koryo is on the list. Readers will correct me if I’m wrong (comments are open) but I’m not aware that Air Koryo flies to Europe to begin with.
I haven’t checked this out, but in addition to about half a dozen domestic routes I only recall the airline flying to Beijing, Moscow, Shenyang, Vladivostock, and Bangkok.
But then my memory on the Air Koryo route network is hardly to be relied upon.
Another striking thing about the list is that 51 banned airlines — more than half of the list — are based in Congo. I know that there are huge numbers of African carriers, most of which I’ve never heard of and don’t participate in Global GDS systems, but I didn’t realize that there were so many airlines in Congo.
(Hat tip to Tripso.)