The European Union put Bulgaria's airlines on a safety watchlist, curbing their access to EU routes two weeks before the country joins the bloc.
Bulgaria-registered airlines will be treated as non-EU carriers and could be grounded by any EU government due to lagging safety standards, said the European Commission, the EU's executive arm. „We are not satisfied that Bulgaria meets the required standard,” EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said in a statement today in Brussels.
The EU said it is taking aim at Bulgaria's safety inspection procedures and isn't targeting individual airlines. Safety and maintenance certificates issued by Bulgaria's civil aviation authority won't be automatically recognized across the EU, the commission said. (Bloomberg)