Lion Air, the Indonesian budget carrier whose Boeing 737-800 crashed at a Bali airport on Saturday, has been banned from flying in the European Union since 2007 after being deemed “unsafe.”
All 51 Indonesian airlines were banned from flying in the EU in 2007 after a series of fatal accidents, including the March 2007 crash of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200, which killed 21 passengers and one crew member.
In 2009, the EU lifted the ban on four of those airlines, including Garuda, and the delegation that made the decision said Lion Air could be taken off the list by the end of that year, the New York Times reported.
But the most recent update of the blacklist, published in December 2012, included the budget carrier.
The Federal Aviation Administration does not rate, rank, or blacklist airlines, but it has assess the Indonesian Directorate General of Civil aviation “as not being in compliance” with international safety standards.
The State Department suggests Americans travelling to Indonesia avoid local carriers:
Indonesian air carriers continue to experience air incidents and accidents. U.S. citizens travelling to and from Indonesia are encouraged to fly directly to their destinations on international carriers from countries whose civil aviation authorities meet international aviation safety standards for the oversight of their air carrier operations under the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program.
Lion Air operates mostly domestic flights, its international destinations include Vietnam and Thailand.
The fast-growing operator announced in March that it would buy 234 A320 jets from Airbus for $24 billion, its biggest deal ever.
None of the 108 passengers or crew members onboard this week’s crashed Bali were killed, though dozens were injured.
The pilots have passed drug and alcohol tests, and investigators suspect an unusual weather phenomenon called “wind shear” may have caused the accident.
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