European Union ban will not stop our London flights, says Medview Airline

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Barely 18 months after commencing the Lagos-London route, the lone Nigerian carrier on the European route, Med-View Airline has been barred from entering European airspace.

Air Zimbabwe, a state-run airline regularly used by President Mugabe on his overseas trips, has been blacklisted by the European Union (EU) from operating in EU skies.

As a result of an assessment by the European Aviation Safety Agency, the Commission said all airlines certified in Benin and Mozambique are now cleared from the list, following further improvements in aviation safety.

"Finally, please note that a banned carrier can continue to operate to the European Union by using wet-leased arrangements from any non-banned air carrier (that is not necessarily European Union air carriers)".

Zimbabwe's national carrier, Air Zimbabwe, is one of four airlines added to the list "due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European Safety Agency", local media reported on Wednesday.

The carrier regretted the anxiety the misinformation may have caused its teeming passengers and assured them that there is no basis for alarm as the Lagos-London flight remains unaffected.

"The airline has secured a B777 aircraft leased from an EU-member state to boost its global operations, which will soon join the fleet".

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The list includes all airlines banned from operating in Europe.

The airline said on May 17, 2017 it operated normal schedule flight to London "amid the misinformation about the restriction".

"We at Medview Airline are committed to safety, and now working with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), to restore normalcy, " he said.

Airlines which are listed on the EU Air Safety List can not operate to, from or within the EU, but then again numerous 181 blacklisted carriers do not have European operations.

An operator in the industry whose airline recently stopped flights to London told THISDAY that besides the safety reasons, European Union often bans airlines from largely third world countries to allow only airlines from Europe to operate to Africa, some parts of Asia without corresponding flights from indigenous airlines.

News of the ban, contained in a press release from the European Commission, will deal a blow to the struggling carrier's plans to resume once-popular direct flights to London.

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