Angola: Angolan air carrier “penalized” by EU decision to delay visit by experts

23 November 2007

Luanda, Angola, 23 Nov – Angolan state airline, TAAG said Thursday it was being “penalized” by the fact that European Union experts are only scheduled to travel to Luanda to assess the company’s operations in February 2008.

Speaking to Rádio Nacional de Angola, the chairman of TAAG’s board of directors, Nelson Martins, said “subjective reasons” were keeping the company on the EU’s blacklist.

Since June TAAG has been prevented from flying in European air space because it was included on the European Commission’s blacklist, after French experts identified safety problems.

The EC’s blacklist includes around 100 airlines forbidden from flying in European air space because they do not meet safety standards and are a danger to passengers.

TAAG’s chairman said he was disappointed that removing the company form the blacklist required the presence of a team of EC experts in Luanda, which would only happen in February 2008.

On Tuesday, delegations from TAAG and the EU Transport Commission carried out a new round of negotiations in Brussels, with the Angolan company being told that the team of experts would no longer travel to Luanda in December as planned.

In its turn, the EU’s Transport Commission is unlikely to issue any information on its decision before next March. (macauhub)