The European Union Lifts Ban on Philippine Airlines
The European Union (EU) now allows Philippine Airlines (PAL) to fly to the 28 nation bloc, partially lifting a ban imposed against the Philippines in 2010.
EU lifted the ban on PAL, citing the Philippines efforts in addressing serious air safety concerns, EU ambassador to the Philippines Guy Ledoux announced in a press briefing on Wednesday.
PAL will start flying to Europe by September or October, its president Ramon Ang said in the same briefing.
However, other Philippine carriers such as budget Airline Cebu Pacific, which encountered a mishap at the Davao Airport in June, are still barred from entering European Airspace and flying over the territory.
Taking into account the improved safety oversight provided by the competent authorities of the Philippines and the ability of carrier Philippine Airlines to ensure effective compliance with relevant aviation safety regulations, it was decided to lift the ban affecting this carrier,the EU said in a statement.
For all other carriers REGISTERED in the Philippines, the ban remains as further progress is still needed to reach effective compliance,it added.
The decision followed the discussion among members of EU Air Safety Committee on whether to lift or keep the ban on Philippine carriers. The committee is composed of Technical Air Safety experts from all EU member states. It meets twice a year.
EU blacklisted Philippine carriers in 2010 after the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) classified the Philippine aviation industry as a significant safety concern.Aviation regulator Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) failed to meet and implement safety standards that the EU required.
In March,ICAO lifted this classification and announced that the Philippines had complied with Internationally binding safety standards established by the 1944 Chicago Convention. The United Nations body acknowledged that after 5 years, CAAP finally accomplished the much-needed reforms.
CAAP and PAL appealed the ban before the EU committee in Brussels in April and again in the committee's first meeting for the year held June 26.
Cebu Pacific said in a statement Wednesday, July 10 it chose not to participate in said meeting, but hopes to attend the next one later this year.
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Mohini Porwal [ B Sc]
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