15 JULY 2013
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Next year could see the return of Philippine Airlines (PAL) to Europe after a break of 15 years. The oldest airline in Asia, first created in 1941, has been removed from a EU blacklist allowing the national carrier to resume flights to destinations in Europe.
The EU placed a blanket ban on all airlines based in the Philippines in 2010, due to safety concerns. In the latest update of its aviation blacklist however, it said it would allow PAL to resume flights.
“The EU air safety list was created for the protection of European skies and citizens, but it can also serve as a wake-up call to countries and airlines in need to get their safety house back in order”, said Siim Kallas, the EC’s Vice President for Transport. “Today we confirmed our willingness to remove countries and airlines from the list if they show real commitment and capacity to implement international safety standards in a sustainable manner”.
Along with PAL, Venezuela’s Conviasa has been deleted from the blacklist. However many countries’ airlines remain banned or severely restricted. Fourteen African and two Asian nations – Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan – are still completely banned from EU skies. www.philippineairlines.com
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