All Libyan airlines and Venezuelan carrier Conviasa were banned from flying into the 27-nation European Union on Tuesday due to safety concerns.
The Venezuelan company was added to a blacklist of airlines with poor safety records while Libya decided, in consultation with EU officials, to bar its airlines from flying to the EU until at least November 22.
Conviasa was banned “due to numerous safety concerns arising from accidents and the results of ramp checks at EU airports,” the European Commission said in a statement.
The EU also reviewed the safety record of two other Venezuelan carriers, Estellar Latinoamerica and Aerotuy, but decided to place them under increased monitoring instead of imposing restrictions.
In Caracas, the government of President Hugo Chavez quickly rejected the EU move, calling it “totally disproportionate.”
In a statement, the Venezuelan foreign ministry threatened Brussels with “reciprocal” measures “in order to preserve its interests… and the prestige of the airline.”
The safety oversight of airlines licensed in Libya poses “serious concerns” but the EU decided not to place them on the blacklist after the Libyan civil aviation authorities adopted restrictions on their own.
“Nonetheless, implementation of the measures decided by the Libyan authorities remains subject to close monitoring,” the EU’s executive arm said.
The latest European air safety list includes 279 air carriers from 21 countries, ranging from Afghanistan to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, the Philippines and Zambia.