EU adds Ghanaian airlines to no-fly list

European Transport Commissioner, Siim Kallas. Photo/REUTERS

The European Union added two air cargo carriers from Ghana to its no-flight list on Thursday due to safety concerns about their aircraft.

Meridian Airways was banned from flying any of its planes in the 27-nation bloc following poor results from inspections of its aircraft and the facilities used by the company in the EU, the European Commission said.

The airline was operating in Britain, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, the EU's executive arm said.

The commission also imposed restrictions on Airlift International, allowing only one of the Ghanaian company's planes to fly in the EU, after an inspection on an aircraft showed it was "well below" international standards.

"We cannot afford any compromise in air safety," said European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas.

"Where we have evidence that air carriers are not performing safe operations or where the regulatory authorities fail in their obligation to enforce the safety standards we must act to guarantee to exclude any risks to safety."

The EU has imposed total or partial bans to all carriers from 17 countries: Angola, Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Philippines, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Swaziland and Zambia.