Wednesday, March 22, 2006


The European Commission has issued a new blacklist of dubious airlines. You can get the document here (pdf). Notable on it is that a number of frequently-mentioned Viktor Bout-related operators are now on the list. Specifically, Phoenix Aviation, GST Aero, Reem Air and Jetline are all there, as are Butembo and Great Lakes Business Co.

The Commission also took the sweeping step of barring all Liberian, DR Congo, Swazi, Sierra Leonian and Equatorial Guinean call signs. This is the second attempt to clear up the Liberian registry (a couple of years ago all the EL- registrations were revoked), but it may be more successful this time as the new president has just requested Charles Taylor's extradition. The Equatorial Guinea 3C- register is or was actually operated by someone (British citizen Michael Harradine) who has in the past been accused of colluding with Viktor Bout and Chris Barrett-Jolley, and the DR Congo one (9Q-) is, well, DR Congolese. The Swazi registry is dire too and was notably involved in the 3X-GDM/GOM missing 727 affair. Sierra Leone's 9L- was recently accused by the Jamestown Terrorism Monitor of Hezbollah and al-Qa'ida involvement.

In the blanket ban, Co-Za Airways (said to be the property of Ali Kleilat) goes, as do all the Paddy McKay/Iraq related names including old friends Teebah Airlines, Air Leone, Star Air, Destiny Air of "sex change jet" fame, and African International Airways, a dodgy DC8 operator accused of gun-running by Amnesty.

A good job, M. Barrot.

Update: McKay speaks. Claims the allegations against him were corruptly motivated.

No comments:

kostenloser Counter