On June 1, 2022, the European Aviation Safety Agency announced its decision not to blacklist any of the Kazakh airlines from conducting flights to Europe, Kapital reports.
No to a second time
The EU's air safety blacklist includes companies that are not allowed to operate in the EU due to failure to meet international safety standards.
Minister of Industry and Infrastructural Development Kairbek Uskenbayev gave a reminder that Kazakhstan was blacklisted in 2009 when the International Civil Aviation Organization assessed Kazakh airlines to have a low ICAO standards implementation index of about 47%. Following the evaluation, the European Commission banned most Kazakh airlines from flying to Europe. Air Astana was the only one exempt, though the company was limited in its opportunities to expand the flights’ geography and the aircraft fleet.
According to the minister, it took 7 years for Kazakhstan to redeem itself. Adopting the European model of managing civil aviation had been a key move to regain trust.
The reform’s effectiveness was proved last August when, via the outcome of an independent examination by ICAO, Kazakhstan raised its flight safety level to 84%. That is 15% higher than the world average. This measure puts us side by side with the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark, and Iceland.
Earlier in May, the European Union's Committee on Flight Safety gave a positive evaluation of the safety standards of Kazakh airlines, rating Kazakhstan's air safety as higher than the global average.