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All Afghan airlines on EU blacklist

Kam Air

The European Union has banned all Afghan airlines from flying in the 27-nation bloc due to the poor safety record of the country’s civil aviation oversight system.

The European Commission also added Mauritania Airways to its blacklist of high-risk airlines along with new carriers from Afric Aviation of Gabon, and CAAS of Kyrgyzstan.

Privately-owned Kam Air, Safi Airways and Pamir Airways fly to Germany, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Central Asia and the Gulf but no Afghan airlines fly to the US.

State-owned Ariana Afghan Airlines was the only Afghan operator on the list before Tuesday.

The commission cited "safety deficiencies identified in its system to oversee civil aviation and on several carriers" but said that it was ready to provide active support to Afghanistan's efforts to improve civil aviation oversight and safety in cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Dossier: AfPak news and analysis

Afghan transport minister Daoud Ali Najafi said earlier this month that he would go to Brussels to present an action plan to the EU's air safety panel that has been authorised by President Hamid Karzai.

The European Commission said it blacklisted Mauritania Airways due to "persisting deficiencies" in operations and maintenance identified during inspections in several EU states.

The EU removed nine operators from Kazakhstan from the list and partly lifted restrictions on Ghana's Airlift International.

Europe's flight blacklist includes carriers from 19 states, a total of 276 airlines.