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Business News of Monday, 29 August 2005

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Ghana-registerd Airline Blacklisted

Brussels - Johnsons Air Limited (Ghana) was one of several airlines banned from entering Belgium.

Belgium followed France on Monday in publishing a blacklist of banned airlines, naming nine carriers outlawed from the country due to "operational safety" concerns.

The list, published in the wake of a series of civil aviation disasters in recent weeks and months, only includes cargo carriers, and mostly involves African airlines.

The airlines outlawed in Belgium are: Africa Lines (Central African Republic); Air Memphis (Egypt); Air Van Airlines (Armenia); Central Air Express (Democratic Republic of the Congo); ICTTPW (Libya); International Air Tours Limited (Nigeria); Johnsons Air Limited (Ghana); Silverback Cargo Freighters (Rwanda); and South Airlines (Ukraine).

Carriers banned by France are: Air Koryo from North Korea; Air Saint-Thomas from the United States; International Air Service from Liberia; Air Mozambique (LAM) and affiliated carrier Transairways; and Phuket Airways of Thailand.

Before the French and Belgian lists only Britain and Switzerland had decided such bans in Europe, in line with the United States.

The European states' blacklists have the full support of the European Commission, which is trying to implement an EU-wide list of suspect airlines that pools safety information from all 25 member states.

The announcements follow a string of fatal accidents this month, including a crash on August 16 that killed 160 people in Venezuela, almost all of them French tourists from the Caribbean island of Martinique.

Fatal crashes have also occurred this month near Athens and off the coast of Sicily. An Air France jet slid off the runway at Toronto's international airport, but all aboard managed to escape alive.