The European Commission (EC) has officially lifted its ban for Philippines-based air carriers, meaning a number of airlines can now join flag carrier Philippines Airlines and Cebu Pacific for flights to Europe.
The European Union had already lifted the safety ban on Philippine Airlines (PAL) in July 2013, and last year also cleared Cebu Pacific, the country’s largest airline, for flights to Europe. Now, the commission has gone one step further and cleared all remaining Philippines-based air carriers.
“All airlines from the Philippines, banned since 2010, have been released from the (air safety) list and are therefore allowed to operate in the European airspace,” a statement from the EU office in Brussels read.
Due to shortcomings in its regulation of the industry, the country was placed on the EU blacklist in March 2010, and following a number of improvements implemented by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the EU Air Safety Committee has now given the green light again and lifted the ban.
“After five years of hard work, we are finally able to release the airlines certified in the Philippines from the European Air Safety List. The Philippines is an important country with a sizable and rapidly growing aviation sector,” Violeta Bulc, European Union commissioner for transport, was quoted as saying.
Lubomir Frebort, the EU charge d’affaires in the Philippines, added: “This is truly breaking news since it is the first time that the entire aviation sector of one country is removed from the European Air Safety List”.
The airlines that can now fly to Europe include PAL Express, Cebu Pacific’s Cebgo, AirAsia Inc., AirAsia Zest, Island Aviation Inc., Magnum Air Inc. (Skyjet) and South East Asian Airlines International Inc.
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