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The European Commission (EC) has updated its EU Air Safety List, adding 21 Russia-certified airlines that do not adhere to international safety standards, according to the EC.

The EC said that Russia’s re-registration of foreign-owned aircraft, which includes allowing them to operate without valid certificates of airworthiness, reflects serious safety concerns.

It added that the Russian move violates international aviation safety standards.

Airline companies that are on the EU Air Safety List are subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union (EU).

European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency has allowed Russian airlines to operate hundreds of foreign-owned aircraft without a valid Certificate of Airworthiness.

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“The Russian airlines concerned have knowingly done so in breach of relevant international safety standards. This is not only a clear breach of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention), but it also poses an immediate safety threat.

“We are living in the context of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine. However, I want to make it crystal clear that this decision is not another sanction against Russia; it has been taken solely on the basis of technical and safety grounds. We do not mix safety with politics.”

According to the updated list, a total of 117 airlines are banned from EU skies.

The EC said that 90 airlines, which were certified in 15 different states, have been included on the list for ‘inadequate safety oversight’ by the aviation authorities of these States.

Apart from 21 airlines certified in Russia, six individual airlines, including Avior Airlines (Venezuela); Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname); Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran); Iraqi Airways (Iraq); Med-View Airlines (Nigeria); and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe), have been added to the list due to ‘serious safety deficiencies’.

The EC has also imposed operational curbs on two airlines. Iran Air (Iran) and Air Koryo (North Korea) have permission to fly to the EU using only specific aircraft types.