Why some airlines are banned from the EU


If you’ve ever used a flight comparison website, you’ll often see the same airlines popping up at the top of your search results; Ryanair, EasyJet, British Airlines. Or maybe some newer, budget airlines like Wizz Air or Germanwings.

But if you’re travelling long haul and opt to catch a cheaper connecting flight outside of the EU, you may notice strange airlines operating the second or third-leg of your journey.

This is nothing new, even when booking your entire journey directly with a specific airline.

For example, British Airways and Iberia often tag team journey’s depending on the time and destination of your flight. Different name, different planes, but ultimately owned by the same company.

There are, however, a few airlines that you’ll never see flying in or out of Europe but operate very successful and popular services elsewhere in the world.

No, it’s not for geographic or economic reasons. To put it bluntly – they’re banned! Blue Sky, Cronos Airlines and Nova Airways are just some airlines that are banned from even flying in European airspace, let alone landing.

After doing a bit of digging, we start to spot a trend emerging. Blue Sky is operated out of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cronos Airlines out of Equatorial Guinea and Nova Airways from Sudan.

To quote the European Commission website, “Working in close cooperation with safety authorities in Member States, other countries and international aviation organisations, the European Union strives to raise these standards across the world. However, some airlines still operate in conditions which fall below essential and internationally recognised safety levels.”

“To improve safety further, the European Commission – in close consultation with the aviation safety authorities of all Member States – has decided to ban certain airlines from operating in European airspace, because they are found to be unsafe and/or they are not sufficiently overseen by their authorities.”

So the next time you’re looking to catch a cheap connecting flight on your next adventure, do your research first.

Click here to see the full list of banned airlines.

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