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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Airline Safety

July 1st, 2009
05:03 PM ET

The EU's transport chief has called for a worldwide blacklist of airlines deemed unsafe, as investigators probe the crash of a Yemeni airliner. Antonio Tajani is urging an expansion of the EU’s aviation blacklist.

Now, we know that Yemenia was not actually on the blacklist the EU uses to bar airlines from operating in its territory, but it had been slated for review, and Tajani said more meetings were planned. Yemenia had passed IATA’s operational safety audit (IOSA), which has become a safety standard for the airline industry.

According to Aviation Week, the EU blacklist was first published in 2006. The magazine said: “Setting up the list was not without controversy, in part because it was purely punitive and, some industry officials argue, did not do enough to help countries improve their safety performance.”

There are few details on how a blacklist works and whether we, as consumers, would get to check it before making a booking with an airline we’ve never heard of before.

Weigh in on this one. Have the latest air crashes/incidents made you more reticent about flying? Would a blacklist make you more or less confident? How does this story resonate with you whatever you do, wherever you live in the world.

Send your comments to me below or e-mail me at: connecttheworld@CNN.com – we'll read the best ones out on air tonight at 9pm London time. See you there!

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Filed under:  General
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Louis


    July 1, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  2. D Concepcion

    Airbus planes designed and made in Europe have serious safety risks.

    Remmeber the test fight that crashed soon after takeoff?

    This plane has issues!

    July 1, 2009 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  3. peter

    I have very little faith in all airlines. I scrutinize various news reports on plane accidents. I am of a very firm belief that economics in all the airlines, is placed before safety, and i dont see that changing EVER.
    I firmly believe with the world economics on a constant up and down, that the airline business will consistantly be playing, "catchup in terms of profits"). and cuts will be made where ever possible.The fact that it is one of the safest ways to travel, is negated by the way death very often occurs when an accident does happen.Think of Airfrance from Brazil to Paris 1st June 2009. There is every indication that, that could have been prevented, and yet it seems the plane broke up in the air, and people fell to their deaths.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  4. Aldo Boccara

    An airlines "blacklist" should be issued publicly every year !!!
    It will surely put pressure on the airlines to supervise and control the
    well function of their fleet at all time !!!!

    July 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  5. Ben

    I generally travel 100,000 plus in seat miles a year. I think that this will not really have an affect on those who need to fly, but I do agree with the strict enforcement of safty rules and standards, I would hope more countries will follow suit because lets face it the airlines are in this to save and make money which might mean cutting corners.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  6. Jamie

    I am an American living in Ecuador and I always tell my family who wants to come visit that they shouldn´t worry about airlines here, they can move freely. But honestly, I don´t know if that´s true. I would feel much better moving around South America by plane if there were a Black List to help me make my choices for travel.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  7. David Blacquier

    The latest airline crashes have made me reticent about flying on Airbus equipment but I have always had a personal blacklist that I refresh whenever I travel. A government black list would be greeted with skepticism but would factor into my airline selection.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  8. Rafei

    Having a blacklist of airlines is not nearly enough. If an Airline is deemed not fit to fly it should be grounded until the Airline gets an all clear from the authorities. Banning it only from EU or North America is not enough..everyone should be allowed to fly safely regardless of where u are on earth.

    I wonder if the economic crisis hitting consumers and the Airline industry profits are eating away at safety checks ?? IATA should look into this.

    Regards, Rafei from Coffs Harbour Australia

    July 1, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  9. Obinna

    It,s only God who him self is comforter,will comfort you
    non of this hi tech can make you be able keep your
    self together if a plane is about to crash into an ocean
    it,s time for the world to seek Gods face not black boxes.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  10. Emad

    Of course a blacklist of airlines will make me feel more comfort because i would believe that these companies will suffer from that list in the form of less sales, so I believe that this should force them to raise the maintainance level to high standards to meet the world wide regul;ations and have the name lifted from that black list, and this should also include the services on board the plane and the level of skill of the pilots and the people working on the ground as well, it is not easy to handle the responsibility of 150 or 300 people on one plane, it is precious life that they are dealing with, it should not be handled carlessly but in a very high level of responsibility, skills, maintainace, expertise, and professional way. I wish to know what are the standards of the EU upon which the decision will be made to permit or ban an airline or put it on the blacklist. If we look to all the plane crashes we will find a very small number related to mechanical issue, but the majority is for human error whether on the plane or by the ground people, this human error has to be minimized and eliminated.....hopefully........Thanks. Emad

    July 1, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  11. Michael

    A government list having the power to make or break airlines...I don't think so. The list would be useless, out of date anyway (as in this case). Airlines (well, privately owned ones at least) have perfectly good incentives to stay safe. Their safety records should speak for themselves, and people can decide. I won't be flying Yemenia, regardless of whether it's on any list. Flying is still the safest per mile though, so I won't be losing much sleep over it.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  12. Leanne Anderson

    I would definitely agree with the above comment that the latest air crashes/incidents have made me more reticent about flying. Especially more so in the current economic crisis. You start to wonder how Airlines are are cutting costs in order to remain competitive in the market. Are they cutting corners on safety? Are they employing less skilled staff for lower rates or spending less money on maintenance? Are they putting off necessary repairs for lack of funds? Its one area of many peoples lives where one has very little to no control over. If you need to travel abroad your only option is to trust that your service provider has done everything in their power to ensure your well being and that your safety is their number one priority. Unfortunately in this day and age their are many people who would put profit before lives. To have some sort of reliable, accurate and regulated data base where you could be more informed when making your airline choice should be mandatory and should already exist.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  13. Nini Oakley

    I travel a lot and would really like to see a list of the least reliable airlines out there. I am contemplating a trip to Indonesia next year. I have traveled on EVA air and found it to be among the best I have ever been on as a passenger. It did feel very safe to me. However, I believe there are several airlines in the Far East that I should avoid, so I would welcome a list of the worst safety regulations offenders in their class.

    Thank you.

    Nini Oakley
    Sammamish, WA

    July 1, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  14. Cris

    When you make such a pool you aim third world countries but.......

    Yes, start the list with Air France. And add British Airways. It does not have money for their own pay roll what about maintenance of airplanes?

    July 1, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  15. stuckinhelsinki

    Absolutely, i am over 8 hours stuck in Helsinki because of Finnair. The customre service is very limited and the airport is thinning out as it gets later and later into the night. they say the "estimated" departure time is 23:55 because of "ground handling". well you know we are all wondering what "ground handling" means and thinking a turbine could drop while we're in the air and its all over folks. OF COURSE! I want the blacklist! I checked the fleet earlier today and they do have a relatively fresh fleet, but it's important for the consumer to know which aircrafts are safe and solid..

    July 1, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  16. Cindy B.

    Definitely more nervous about flying now. And I'd also like to know why France is even involved in the current search for the black box of the plane that went down just the other day. Could it be in an attempt to prevent (or at least obscure) recovery of this plane's black box so the public remains in the dark about the role of the pitot tubes in BOTH crashes to help protect its precious Air France and its relaxed attitudes about making critical repairs/improvements on their planes in a timely fashion. It seems more and more disturbing news is coming out about airline safety, including how the FAA in the U.S. is also "too tight" with the airlines, allowing inspections to be missed/significantly delayed, downplaying criticality of needed repairs, and allowing planes to fly with known mechanical deficiencies. I don't care how bad many airlines have been hurting financially in recent years; passenger safety must be ensured and it's time some sort of agency is created that will actually enforce what needs to be done.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  17. Anila

    more confident: I love travelling but hate flying and those hrs spent in the plane I am just a different person!!! Scared to death. I would definitely chose the airline I would use. Absolutely.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  18. Tom Miller

    A blacklist could potentially be something very useful. The problem I see is making absolutely certain that it is done completely objectively with a relatively simple path for those airlines that have been blcaklisted to get themselves remioved from said blacklist once they have made what improvements are deemed necessary. That said, the blacklist also needs to have included in it the changes that need to be made in order for an airline to no longer be considered a risk.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  19. Samuel

    I'm not sure that a blacklist with airlines that failed the IATA's IOSA inspection would keep me from flying on a particular airline, but since these accidents have involved the Airbus aircraft, that will now be what I will look at as to whether I fly on that airline or not. I have been associated with aircraft since I was 17 in the military and now as a civilian working for an American military aircraft contractor overseas. I travel a lot on commercial aircraft from my assignment back home to the U.S. so from now on, I'll check the type of equipment associated with my flight and if it's an Airbus, I won't fly it. I'll stick to Boeing equipment or stay at home. I wont' feel comfortable flying on Airbus' equipment until they have done something to strengthen or change the type of fittings they use to attach the control surfaces to the vertical stabilizer, especially the rudder. Composite structures are light weight and economical, but in the airline industry where thousand of lives are at stake daily, machined steel or machined aluminum are the only way to still attach these flight control surfaces to the airplane. Violent turbulence will always win against composite attach points. Yes the A330 has an excellent safety record but against the inevitable and very rare violent turbulence that aircraft sometimes encounter, that safety record plunges to unacceptable levels. Do your own research and see for yourselves.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  20. Yann

    Flying is by far the best way to travel in terms of safety and even two crashes in a month wouldn't change my mind. I can understand that some people can be afraid. A plane going down, it's dozens of casualties whereas a car crash involves less people. But driving is much more dangerous than flying in terms of number of crashes and death every day, month or year.

    A blacklist already exists in the EU, it reduces the probability of crashes but it will never reach 0. I really think that having a blacklist is better than having nothing. Operating aircrafts is not an easy thing, especially to generate profit, but even low cost airlines can succeed in doing business and on same time reach safety standards.

    For airlines safety must be the first issue to deal with, wherever you come from and wherever you operate.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  21. Yann

    Safety must be the top priority.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  22. Jim Smith João Pessoa, Brazil

    An airline "blacklist" would be about as useful as all the "security" measures taken against terrorists. That is, none at all.

    A consumer that flies any airline or purchases any product without knowing the provider's reputation and record is simply asking to be defrauded or worse. Hasn't anyone ever heard the phrase "caveat emptor"?

    July 1, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  23. dianne

    i think i would like to know if faults on an airline i was using were apparrent it would make me think twice before flying with an airline on the blacklist!!

    July 1, 2009 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  24. Bob

    This is a no brainer – of course this should be done. As a matter of fact I saw on CNN that the aircraft in question had a significant number of mechanical problems stemming from years ago.

    All countries should prohibit flights of aircraft and from airlines that are on the so called black list. In addition, people who develop, monitor and distribute said list need to have more backbone than the individual I saw on CNN who described the aircraft and it's problems and offered a feckless explanation as to why it was allowed to fly.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  25. Hana

    Absolutely! If such list will reflect reality, however...

    July 1, 2009 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  26. Jake

    All plane models and airlines should go through regular safety checks. If a certain model has a bad record of crashing, the model in whole should be banned for use...

    July 1, 2009 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  27. Yanyara

    We can blacklist airlines, pilots, aircraft models, and passengers as we already do. But since we live in an imperfect world by choice, because it's easier on us, there's no point trying to blacklist some among us. What we need is, to quote Tagore, a world "where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection" I know perfect world is a silly idea; but, dear sweet Becky, my question to you is this – why is a perfect world so laughable and the cesspools we swim in so endearing:)

    July 1, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  28. Stefano Ferrari

    Flying is an essential part of our lives. I do it all the times and, I must admit, I am increasingly nervous. However, I believe that fear often stems from ignorance.For that reason, I would welcome more information about airlines and aircraft safety.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  29. lois

    I question the need for a black list-any airline that qualifies to be black listed should be immediatly shut down until they sort thier problems out. So no the public doesn't need to see the black list-the authorities just need to take faster action on "suspect" airlines!

    July 1, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  30. Meg

    I work for a major airline that has had no major incidents recently, and, god willing, won't any time soon. I happen to know that our maintenance department will not send out an aircraft unless every safety check has passed with flying colors. We would not send out a plane just to save money. Even if we can see money slipping away by grounding an airplane for more time than is originally allotted, safety is the number one priority, and we keep the plane on the ground until it is fit for flying. I cannot necessarily speak for every airline out there, but not all airlines are cutting costs by compromising safety. I highly doubt an airline like Air France would cut corners like that, but bad things can happen to good companies.

    Also, try to think of your safety when a flight is delayed and you're stuck in the airport. If there is inclement weather, be glad you're not trying to take off or land in it. If there is a mechanical problem with the plane, just be glad they won't let you on a malfunctioning, dangerous plane. I, for one, would rather sit safely on the ground than get on a plane that could have a problem in the air.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  31. sonia

    absolutely....I would be checking the bottom lines of the airline and the safety records before planning to board on one of its plane. In the present state of the economy many airliners are not likely to upgrade their fleets or equipment, and may find loop holes around directives to save costs. Asterisking airlines for the blacklist , especially the third world airliners, is not a new practice, so it's not going to reassure me. Sure Yemeni had its problems. So did Air France. But I can't imagine EU blacklisting AF for non compliance in replacement of the the pitot tubes, a sensor highly important for speed indication.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  32. Hammond Allen

    Isn't it a bit hypocritical that when Air France crashed recently there was no uproar at the EU about this aviation blacklist? Air france seems to have a much worse record then Yemenia Airlines.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  33. Karla

    Yes, but ONLY if the evaluations are serious (ie, that are not under cost reductions, or outsourcing)
    I have seen that nowadays economy is turning safety into a second luxury item in most of business, this is very sensitive in aircraft industry and nevertheless I am afraid even safety will be outsourced to India. So, yes, a blacklist would make me more or less confident but i need to know what are the basis of evaluation and who is doing that, i dont want to have some careless persons doing evaluations in order to get a good deal with the industutry. I want TOUGH people with zero tolerance to any issue and mostly the small ones.

    July 1, 2009 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  34. D. ISLER

    Even the airlines member of star alliance has issues like over shifts of flight crew, inadequate maintenance time so as to arrange more flights. Moreover, it should not be an option for airlines to sell old air crafts to poor countries. As long as the companies want to earn more there will be new disasters.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  35. Nuno

    How can you put the Yemeni airliner on a blacklist when just weeks
    ago Air France suffered a similar disaster?
    Then Air France should be blacklisted also

    July 1, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  36. Keith

    First off I want to that more people die in auto accidents than the two major crashes this month. And second flying is still the safest way to travel.
    Next. I have see a few people blame Airbus, saying this plane has problems. Yes it's true this model did crash during a test flight. That is the reason why test flights are done. It was not the first model and it won't be the last.
    Having a yearly list of banned Airlines is a good thing. The EU already has such a list. Which has a list of mostly 3rd world airlines. I have seen people blame Air France for the crash that happened a few weeks ago. My question is how can you point fingers, when we still don't know what made the plane break apart? How can you blame Airbus or any plane maker? Don't forget every time there is a crash air safety improves.
    I have to say one of the big problems with blogs and comment boxes is most people write without thinking first.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  37. William

    How would a blacklist make anyone more comfortable when these recent crashes were on airlines that would not make such a list anyway? No one considers Air France to be a risky venture.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  38. Ingur

    Aircraft are machines, and from time to time,
    under a chain of complex events, they will go down..
    Will always happen, whatever we do.

    Choosing airlines that one knows is of high standard, definitely,
    makes one feel better.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  39. Seth

    The list already exists and is applied to airlines that do not reach an equivalent level of safety according to FAA standards. Those airlines that are listed are not allowed to fly into U.S. airspace.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  40. Hendrik

    I don't think any lists concerning safety should be brought forth through the government. Yet governments should force annual safety records provided by each airline company.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  41. Tim Spooner

    I travel every month from Auckland to Bangkok return by Thai Airways, who use Airbus. It is almost 6000 miles each way, the vast majority over oceans or the outback of Australia. I have a pilot licence and also a commercial licence for helicopter but these crashes are even making me concerned about the safety of the aircraft.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  42. Mike

    I don't really think a blacklist is necessary. Although all the attention is now on the Yemenia flight, it was only a week ago that an Air France flight crashed into the ocean with no survivors, and Air France is one of the best airlines in the world. Plane crashes are very rare considering the amount of air traffic, but get extra media attention. However, it is important that airlines follow safety regulations, because it's important to reduce the probability of crashes.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  43. PB

    No, the recent crashes have not made me reticent to fly. It is, after all, still a significantly safer mode of transport than driving.

    I travel a lot and I have been through one emergency landing – in the middle of a jungle on a grass airstrip nonetheless. You can pretty much spot the airlines to be concerned about. Yemeni air? C'mon. Of course that's not going to be as safe as some other options. I'd be leery of Bolivia air, Somalia air, Afghanistan air, etc. Common sense always prevails. To a large extent when you travel to risky, off the beaten path places, you will also be travelling on dodgy airlines.

    An then, as in the case of the Air France flight, the totally unexpected thing happens. But that is life. Sometimes the totally unexpected happens.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  44. shep

    Lighten up! Flying is exactly like playing the lottery. People die sitting in perfectly good aircraft. I suggest everyone stay home who is afraid to fly. I myself don't mind the airlines not maintaining the aircraft- it adds to the excitement and wonder of flying!

    July 1, 2009 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  45. Ahmad Sazali

    Definately! Everytime we fly, our life is in the hand of the airline we choose to fly! Frequency of business travels will continue to increase with the global economy. There should be some kind of ratings for airlines and also the plane models concern relative to past history of accidents. This will not necessarily be a negative report but will also reflect positively for airlines that has a good safety record and also to those airlines that has shown significant improvement with constant effort to to make flying their respective airline safe.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  46. Leanne Anderson

    After reading some of these statements above i think i would also have to agree that a black list should actually not exist purely because Airlines who would qualify to be on this list should not be allowed in the air at all. However having said that; if the above is the ideal, a blacklist would serve to make more informed choices in the interim.

    July 1, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  47. Agi

    Yes, a blacklist would make me feel better, with all the crashes that are happening i would like to know which airline companies i can trust and which ones i can't.

    July 1, 2009 at 8:00 pm | Reply







    July 1, 2009 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  49. Earl

    Will Air France be blacklisted?

    July 1, 2009 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  50. Wagner

    The "specialisty" showed a very biased view of a " 3rd world country" airlines are.. I'm sure that there are "3rd world country" that provide much better services and maintenance than the some of the "1st world" airlines..

    More over black list is not a solution; it would be a "biased" guide.

    July 1, 2009 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  51. Batholomew Manjoro

    for air safety i understand but for him to make a general comment to third world airlines is unfair. the brand names so happen to be the ones on the news with crushes. there are many third world airlines that have very good records and are maintained better than some of their first world counterparts or brand names. just recently alot of plans in the USA were grounded coz there maintains was not right.

    So again he was dead wrong to make a general statement on third world airlines.

    July 1, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  52. Ken

    Blacklist....Oh yea...Now if I am in one place and need to fly to another and say ALL of the non-blacklisted airlines are booked (which they would because people won't choose the dangerous one voluntarily) I would then fly in comfort knowing that the only flight available fitting the schedule I need is blacklisted. Oh yes honney I should be home tonight maybe....50/50....well better make that 70/30 .

    July 1, 2009 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  53. Carsten

    I believe Nuno is correct. If there were an international airline "blacklist," then it must be fairly applied, which I hardly see happening. This is Yemenia's first major crash that has made news, so if, by this measure, we were to place them on the list, then shouldn't we also place Air France and QANTAS on the list as well? Air France had the Concorde crash, a near-fatal crash at Toronto a few years ago(luckily all passengers and crew escaped though the aircraft caught on fire), and the most recent event off the coast of Brazil. We might also consider placing QANTAS on this list as well–they've had two very close calls in the past year or two involving an Airbus 330 and Boeing 747-400, respectively. Luckily there were no deaths involved. Korean Air had a tragic string in the late 90s, as did US Airways. Thousands of passengers have continued to fly Korean Air, QANTAS, Air France, and US Airways daily and largely view them all as safe and reliable leading airlines.

    Point being–if we are going to place Yemenia on this list for one incident, then we must also place Air France and QANTAS on this list as well. Perhaps US Airways and Korean Air might have been on this hypothetical list at some point in the past too.

    July 1, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  54. Old Gnome

    I have flown commercially and privately since I was three weeks old, some 52 years ago. The safety records don't bother me. Think of how much safer it is (measured per passenger mile or even per passenger trip) to fly vs. drive.

    However, until the airlines and airports get their shoddy acts together, I'm driving my seven year-old car with over 161,000 miles on it – even across country.

    July 1, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  55. Stephan Vincens Hansen

    Everytime a plane crashes it leaves a mediahype in it´s wake. People are afraid and want to be confirmed that it is dangerous. Bodies floating in the see is more sexy news than statistics. A week later the hype dies, and no one cares about it. And in week or so, when you book your flight for the holidays, the only thing that will matter is the pricetag. Who of you know the real reason for the Buffalocrash – it has been published. Shouldn´t that airline, Colgan, be banned? Focus on safety is good, but relax people, it´s 100 times more dangerous to go to your doctor (wrong diagnosis etc) than to fly.

    July 1, 2009 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  56. Sono

    Maybe the EU transport chief should investigate why two airbus aircraft have been involved in two major crashes within a months time?

    July 1, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  57. salingo

    The airbus has being a death trap from day one, see the history. I was on an Airbus 330 last month and it seems it has trouble when in high altitude, a lot of turbulence and severe knocking going on and dramatic drops. I am even writing an ariticle to warn travellers. They need to be grounded.

    July 1, 2009 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  58. Rebecca

    Boeing is no safer than the Airbus at all, it is a complete fallacy. People really need to get the facts before making statements.
    As for a blacklist, yes, I think it is a very good idea to let passengers who are potentially putting their lives at risk have the information to make an informed decision.

    July 1, 2009 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  59. Lish Lee

    Will it be a comfort? Yes. Definitely! Society is traumatized enough by these accidents.

    July 1, 2009 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  60. Keith

    A blacklist may be of some use, but what concerns me most about flying is not maintenance issues but the condition of the flight crew (pilots). It seems that when a plane crashes, maintenance is always the first concern of cause. I believe pilots can arrive to work tired or become tired after a long day working as all of us do sometimes. Air France took off for a night flight to Paris. Did the flight crew get enough rest during the "day" prior to their flight (in order to deal with abnormalities in flight)? Yemenia was on the third approach and landing attempt to their destination after it had left Paris much earlier in the day. Was it the same flight crew? How alert were they at that point in time doing a missed approach and trying to come around to land again in Comoros? I believe the "human factor" should be taken more into account when it comes to flying safety.

    July 1, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  61. Bernt

    Yes, of course, we need a blacklist – transparent information. And when information is missing, the airlines should be graylisted so travelers know the information has not been made available.

    And while we're at it: why not post a one-page status of aircraft maintenance at check-in or on the web? after all, maintenance info is available on elevators and lifts!

    July 1, 2009 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  62. walter

    Blacklist is good. I will not board a plane again unless absolutely necessary.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  63. Ifeoma ezemba

    I don't believe that blacklisting airplanes is enough to curb the kind of incidents we've seen happening these past few days. What about flying in bad weather? This is a critical issue i think must be looked into. That the airbus was built to withstand bad weather does not mean people's lives should be put in danger. I believe "weather forecasting" still exists. Why can't flights be delayed if need be. Its better to BE LATE than BE THE LATE.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  64. Realkman

    Of course.. then only the airlines that do not have the good back-door cozy corporate relationships with the governing body for blacklisting will be at a disadvantage.. none of the US or European airlines will EVER be on that list.. Reminds me of another regulatory agency, namely FCC..

    July 1, 2009 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  65. Lee

    An airline blacklist, would be helpful. We're a couple of Australians living in Austria. I have obligations in Oz, which require me to fly to back Oz twice a year. My de facto flies around Europe & the rest almost on a weekly basis. With various airlines to which we have been loyal tightening their lloyalty programs, we have been considering flying with "new entrants" e.g. emerging airlines from the Middle East which may not have the same track record as some of the "old" established airlines. Having a "black list" would put my mind at ease when my "best mate" is travelling.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  66. Charlie

    I think an airline Blacklist can be and do nothing but good. The only people who should not want it are investors who are unscrupulous. In fact lets expand on this .Lest have black lists on Doctors and Attornies and all professionals. Now if this was the call you would hear alot of people crying. All it means is you just have to do your best all the time. Probably cut down on a lot of law suites if people worked like that again.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  67. Miguel Caló

    It would definitely be something I would like to know. Not only that, but also the aircrafts (and owners of these aircrafts) that are not authorized to fly over Europe or USA and are flying freely around the rest of the world.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  68. I KONATE

    A lot of people are missing the point here! I live in the UK and I have seen a lot of strange things with airlines and they are simply allowed to get away with those things. But with regards to the recent accident involving an airline of Yemen, please be aware that last year or 2 years ago, a lot of citizen of Comore came out really strong and complained about the aircrafts that were used to fly them hom from Yemen. You can check this on the Internet and see why people are so upset! The same things happen in several countries where dubious aircrafts are used to make large profits! It is not about Airbus or Boeing, it is about idiots making profit and thinking that certain jobs could wait and frankly, if I ever find myself in front of an airline blacklisted somewhere, regardless of where I am, I will refuse to board that aircraft!! Also, a lot of aircrafts are flown from one point of the earth to the other a few times a day, how much time do they have to get a proper check when as soon as they have landed, they are taking off again! All the low cost airlines do the same! You see passengers living the aircraft with new ones getting on in the space of 1H and one of those airlines claimed to be the best on time european airline!!! We can die in the meantime, they could not care less!!!

    July 1, 2009 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  69. Eugenio Covacevich

    A black list would help airlines that meet safety standards to keep doing so, because they would not face unfair competition from those that don´t.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Reply
  70. Danny Cohen

    As an Aeronautical Engineer I can tell you that a blacklist is very comforting. It's similar to the MoT certificate – would you be comfortable in a taxi that doesn't have a valid MoT? I wouldn't....especially a taxi 30,000 feet in the air.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  71. Roberto

    D Conception, you work for Boeing by the way?
    or being a real patriot. review the facts and not your feelings

    July 1, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  72. Ronald A Mc Rae

    Hello Becky,
    My comment is on the Airline Safety article which was aired to 1st July 2009. I do not agree with your airline commentator, with his continued insistance on Safe Airlines Such as American Airlines, Delta, Air France, etc. while presisting with a continous bashing of the so called third world airlines and their air safety record. Just yesterday I flew home on one of those so called third world/ poor safety record Airlines. Namely Caribbean Airlines formally called BWIA. My flight was delayed by 45 minutes. The reason for this was very simple, a minor problem was dected on preflight inspection of the Aircraft, so the the change the AirCraft. Here is an Airline that has been flying Everyday for Over forty years. with a 100 percent Safety Record. Need I say more!!!!


    July 1, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  73. Bart

    Yes, you can see airlines that have the worse reputation of lack in maintenance.
    When birds falling ot the sky, the FAA must create a simple and long durability plain

    July 1, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  74. Al Munroe

    I am confused as to the color of the list. Does it have to be a "Black" list or can it be "White", "Red", "Brown" or "Yellow"?

    July 1, 2009 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  75. BlokeBallarat

    I fly about 500,000 miles per year; I feel the Airbus is as safe as the Boeing and much safer than the MD80's still in service by some airlines.

    As with any assembly line product, there are some discrepancies that go overlooked–This is where a good maintence program by the user comes in, and by employing experienced, knowledgeable people who know that particular plane.

    I have a personal black list of airlines I will not fly as these airlines continually are in the news with issues. The list includes some well know carriers in several continents.

    I would appreciate a global based black list–that way if the airline realises they are on the list they may take corrective actions–if not, they will exit the business scene by their own demise.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  76. Juan Mansfield

    Frankly something is going on with airplanes and specifically with Airbus. Authorities in the subject worldwide should move ahead rapidly and without red tape with a serious examination of airplanes technology. I think technology is important as a tool to help during the flight and when departing and landing but should not command an airplane. Final decisions should be made by pilots. Yes I am more afraid to flight now and see any of my relatives doing it. We will check in detail the sort of airplane we take.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  77. Kerem

    Do you ever think that EU would put Lufthansa or some other big company in the blacklist if they detect a security risk ?

    Many airlines are seen as national prides, there would be huge debates and at the end only 3rd world airline companies would get banned..

    July 1, 2009 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  78. Juan Jimenez

    A blacklist will not improve air safety. Neither will agreements on maintenance standards. The solution to safety issues related to poor maintenance is a mechanism which disables airline-class aicraft from operation without recourse if the required maintenance is not performed, and evidence made available to the manufacturer. It really is that simple.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:25 pm | Reply
  79. D Norman Grant

    It is interesting to see how much the governments are in the backpocket of airlines and plane manufacturers. Take the regulations that came out years ago called ETOPS whereby twin engine planes had to fly a course within 60 minutes of an emergency landing runway. This has gradually (and silently) been extended upwards to 3 hours, so that now, unless you are on a 747 or Airbus 340 or 380, you are in the safety margin of the over-optimistic regulators and designers. These people also allow planes to be designed with no mechanical or hydraulic back-up of control surfaces. When the electric's gone, its finished, and so are the passengers.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Reply
  80. Annemarie

    Blacklisting isn't going to help much as long as airlines work via code-share. My boyfriend was flying to Sweden a week ago and had booked SAS, a Scandinavian company with an excellent reputation. However, when he got to the airport in Barcelona, Spain, where we live, it turned out the first and largest haul of the trip was carried out not by SAS but by their code-share partner Spanair, which was involved in a questionable-maintenance related accident in 2008 in Madrid in which over 100 people were killed. Now, my partner is not a nervous person when it comes to flying, but I am, and whenever I book a flight, I make sure it's with a respectable airline – and I don't appreciate not being informed beforehand of the fact that instead of the airline I chose, I'm going to be flown by a company I have made an effort to avoid while booking!

    July 1, 2009 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  81. Yazan Shami

    I flew with Yemen airlines 2 times, never again. their planes are more of a flying old busses, writing on the walls, missing seatbelts, dirty toilets.
    The airplanes are so old and you notice the low maitenance.when the plane takes off, you feel the plane shaking so hard you think it will break apart.
    one pilot didn't show up, we had to wait 3 hours until a replacement showed up.

    Yazan Shami- Jordan

    July 1, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  82. albert r.

    bueno lo primero no pienso hablar en ingles ... el que quiera saber lo que dice que aprenda español o que lo tradusca

    En mi opinion sobre el tema es que simplemente en algunas aerolineas no cumplen las normativas correctas de mantenimiento ya bien sea por cuestiones economicas o por simple sinverguenzura de la misma.... pero bien como nos hemos fijado estos dos ultimos accidentes sobretodo el de airfrance... no era una compañia la cual le gustaba ahorrar en cuestiones de mantenimiento si no que fue un fallo en el mismo avion... fallo el cual muchos usuarios de airbus sabian de su excistencia... y da la casualidad que este ultimo avion caido en el indico fue otro airbus esta ves un modelo 320... por la tanto es mucha casualidad lo sucedido y me parece que airbus va a tener que tomar ciertas medidas sobretodo si tiene a un gigante de 800 pasajeros volando en el mundo.

    pero ambos accidentes son todavia un misterio y por lo tanto no podemos recluir a decir cual fue el fallo o el problema que ocaciono dichos siniestros. pero si recomiendo a los pasajeros a viajar en compañias seguras y que sean mundiamente reconocidas ( como iberia, airfrance, luthfansa, etc) debido a que dichas compañias al tener sus bases en aeropuertos grandes el sistema de mantenimiento es impecable.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  83. Carlos

    . Yes. It would be great to have access to the blacklist and be able to choose which airline will transport you.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  84. Bazzacco Gabriel

    the aircraft manifacturer's reccomendations as for technical maintenance/fixing etc. nowadays are not binding on the aircraft's owner , so they should be in the future .
    Every aircraft manifacturer is naturally prone to enhance the quality and safety of its output even if they have sold their goods ( one can figure out the deep bewilderment and ominous fallout of the Airbus manifacturer following the two recent Airbus crashes ).
    Moreover , an indipendent ( from Governments ) International Flight Safety Board ( made up also of flight-consumer organizations) should be set up and their regulations and orders bearing on aircraft/flight Safety should be compulsory for the air fleet owners.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  85. obdcdb

    Yes, let's just go and blacklist every single airline that has an accident. Every major airline has incidents, so I suppose we should blacklist Delta and U.S. Airways and Jet Blu? I like the comment posted above, airplanes are machines and are not flawless. We all have to live our lives aware that death can be around the corner. If we all live in fear of moving around then we will all lead very depressing lives. And let the stats speak for themselves– you are more likely to die in a car accident than a plane accident. I don't support a blacklist because it will penalize mainly 3 world airlines in need of developement and will be purely punitive.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  86. Ahanna Onyeukwu

    An airline blacklist? Sure it would help make me a bit confident stepping into an airplane........ but what is most discomforting is the WEST screaming black list! black list! because an airline from Yemen crash in African waters. When AirFrance perished in the pacific (may the souls of the demised find rest in God's bossom), all the WEST did was analyse how Airbus 300 is too retrofitted to crash.

    Nobody mentioned the series of fundamental flaws in the airplane design and the complaints pilots reported while flying. Now a similar airplane operated by a 3rd world country crashed, now it must be due to poor maintenance.......... this is discomforting!!!

    July 1, 2009 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  87. David J

    Air France is recognised as an extremely safe airline and yet has had three serious accidents in the last ten years, so its a little too simple to say a blacklist will mean the difference between being safe and being unsafe.

    I support the idea of a blacklist but only if it is administered by an independant and universally respected organisation such as Flight Safety Foundation, because I fear any list administered by a political entity such as the EU could be used as a tool to apply pressure on those countries seen as 'rogue states', regardless of their actual safety record.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  88. olori

    I'd highly appreciate such a list. I personally believe what is meant to happen, will happen, but we should have a most recent and regular up-to-date information on the airlines blacklist so that we can better arrange our travelling plans.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  89. Coli


    July 1, 2009 at 11:02 pm | Reply
  90. No Spirit

    Very Much! If Ben Baldanza was at the top of the list!

    July 1, 2009 at 11:11 pm | Reply
  91. Bill

    Air Travel is inherently very safe. I'd love a blacklist. It would force those airlines to give me a discount when I fly somewhere else in the world.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  92. Akorth

    Well first off a few comments on the whole "Aribus thing".
    It's funny how we have a few ppl going guns blazing at Airbus and to some extent praising Boing.
    Flight record wise theyre equally safe.
    Also the A330 and the A310 ( air france and the yemini airliner respectively ) are wastly different plane types..and shouldn't be compared ).

    Now, as for the question of the fairness of the Yemini airliner being blacklisted and the air france one not being?

    The EE blacklisting is to a large extent based on maintenance protecols, and known security issues, as well as age of fleet etc.

    The Yemini airlines has had several problems prior, and there's even been cases in Yemen, when changing planes there, where passengers would refuse to get on the connecting flight due to the state of the 2nd leg of the trip....

    Now u can discuss Air France, and personally i dont like them much. But their security protecols are much more up to par.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  93. Rossi

    To some out there: I believe there is no need to be afraid of (Europe's) Airbus. Let's wait untill the (probable) causes of the last two crashes are identified before blaming an entire company for supposedly making a bad product. If proper maintenance is done and highly trained pilots fly the (more or less modern) hightec planes, I think the risks are above all a statistical issue: the more you fly, the more risk you take. It's the same story on the road, in your car or on your bike. We have to accept that an accident is always possible. If you want to take no risks at all, don't travel. But if you travel, there is certain risk. However, this risk obviously is higher when using airlines that do not take maintenance and training seriously. I think a list of these dubious companies would certainly be usefull.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  94. C. Christian

    I spent many years flying with one of the world's largest airlines. The planes were all provided by the lowest bidder.
    Airline safety is a major issue in the USAF. As a member and an airfield manager/flight data specialist, I have had many occasions to worry over overdue aircraft, inflight emergencies, and ground emergencies. I had no worries for myself anytime during many flights with said 'airline.' I know/knew the best mechanics, supervisors, quality control personnel were on the job to insure the safety of all persons and equipment.
    I do not have the same confidence in the commercial airline industry where money is the motivator, supervision, and enforcement of safety may not be so rigidly enforced or reviewed by professionals, but money makers.
    I still fly, but on the airlines I check out for safety grades, and consistent good service. A plane my fall from the sky for many reasons, but mechanical problems seem to be the most prevalent cause. I'm kinda like the other guy who quoted God as being the one to trust. I do that, but I would not walk into the path of a semi-tractor trailer rig, either. That's what I equate the non-discriminating choices some folks make when they buy that ticket by price.
    I still prefer a luxury coach (bus)!

    July 1, 2009 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  95. David Callard

    Yes, for any frequent international flyer I would regard a blacklist of unsafe airlines as a vital resource.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  96. Ernesto E. Basilio

    Putting airline in the blacklist will surely make them aware that safety of the passengers as well as the aircracft they are flying is a paramount concern. It will surely help a lot.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:27 pm | Reply
  97. Steve

    The FAA and EASA (European FAA) have very rigorous requirements and their audits can be intense. Any airline or repair station falling under their umbrella has the highest probability of being safe. The ones that are not under their umbrella have greater risk. I fly internationally many times a year. There are many airlines I would never consider riding with no matter the cheap price. Publish a simple list of airlines, their primary regulators and their maintenance records and let the flying public take their own decisions.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  98. Bobby Kay

    As a customer we have a choice, as an airline passenger we also have a choice..with a listing of blacklisted airline we would have a wise choice, than having no basis of our choice.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:39 pm | Reply
  99. Jay

    Air line blacklisting may sometimes lead to corruption. There can be a possibility that larger Air lines to bribe the governing body to get away with their planes and to get the smaller Air lines blacklisted.

    I think it is the manufactures responsibility to keep their products checked frequently. They should list all the planes those are not fit for flying and request Air lines for grounding.
    Manufacturers should also publish the list of planes those are not fit for flying

    July 1, 2009 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  100. Barbara

    Yes, i think that a blacklist is a good idea.... Unfortunately, everyone seeks "price" over safety...We all look for the bargain & want to pay $199 for a round-trip & then spend $390 maybe on a hotel room...
    Truly, what option do you value more....? A safer flight or a thicker duvet?! A well-trained pilot & a well-maintained plane are both expensive items!!

    July 1, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  101. Michael Annear

    Yes, not only should airlines be black listed when failing to meet IATA standards, but, also different makes and models of airliners. After a number of incidents and accidents lately involving Airbus aircraft, particularly AB310, 320, 330 range, I think that this type should be blacklisted. When I book my flights I have a policy. If its not Boeing I'm not going.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  102. Martin

    The administrators would be corrupted just like the FAA was, it would make little difference in the long run. They would find a few scapegoat airlines to blacklist in an attempt to make everyone "feel better" while the rest continued to skate by as they are now.

    Its like the TSA people who took away a little pair of mustache scissors from a guy in front of me one time that has 1/8" long blades while letting numerous other items through that could have been improvised into far more deadly weapons.

    July 2, 2009 at 12:23 am | Reply
  103. RStretton

    1. Do you people realise that an A330 and an A310 are not even remotely similar aircraft. There is no such thing as an Airbus!
    2. Anyone who is worried about travelling on either of these aircraft is an ignorant fool as there are thousands of them flying hundreds of flights a day for the past twenty years with negligible crashes
    3. Airbus planes are as or more safe than Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier or any other manufacturer
    4. Age of planes is irrelevent if maintained well. Northwest operate a fleet of 40 year old DC-9s
    5. Both these crashes happened in appaling weather and there is NO evidence to suggest the plane was at fault
    6. Black lists are fine but tend to target third world airlines
    7. The ignorance of US citizens appalls me when talking about foreigh things. US aviation safety is no better than that in Europe or the Far East areas that predominantly have well run airlines with modern fleets

    July 2, 2009 at 12:31 am | Reply
  104. Griselda

    I dont like to fly , I was always very nervous and scare of an accident , NOW I AM complete in panic , so at least , to have a knowledge of the status of the airline I m flying with ( BLACK LIST) , will help , at the end , accidents can happen , very bad weather conditions are alredy a risk factor , so the minimum thing airlines should do , is to be prepare with THE BEST STANDAR OF QUALITY in their mainteinence service , if an accident is going to happen , shouldn't be for something that was under human control, thats is not acceptable .

    July 2, 2009 at 12:41 am | Reply
  105. John Hope

    In the blacklist they should simply put AIRBUS

    July 2, 2009 at 12:42 am | Reply
  106. Mazhar

    I think such a list should be compiled but by an independent authority and should cover ALL the airlines operating in ALL the regions. No certain area or people should be privileged.

    The list should not only be just a list but the issuing authority should also have the powers to ground the airlines or those certain aircraft which do not pass the airworthiness test.

    I would like to add that the best of the aircraft can develop malfunctions beyond human control and the best of the pilots CAN be error prone. Lets hope that the airlines do not try to save money by cutting down on maintenance costs.

    July 2, 2009 at 12:54 am | Reply
  107. Muthyavan.

    Air Travel has become very dangerous in recent time and it looks that safety requirements for all travel agencies needs to come under a strict code of requirement for the safety of air passengers. It is worth having an investigation how an air France plane found not fit for flying has ended up in a serious accident when used by another air line killing many french nationals. It all leaves with an absence of a strict code of requirement covering all air lines regarding its operational requirements.

    July 2, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  108. Doug Macrae

    I would sooner fly on a blacklisted airline than drive on a friday night in south africa.

    July 10, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  109. peter

    This strange person Keith, poses the question as to how can "plane makers" be blamed for their planes that crash.Who should we blme Keith? the gardner, the maid or is it financialy better,for( the plane makers)to just always blame the aircrew. Should the aircrew be responsible for the Pitot tubes, that have had a question mark hanging over them for almost a year?????

    Keith you make me sick....Did you think before you made your , stupid comment. Peter Mills Johannesburg South Africa

    July 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Reply

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