The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned Moldovan cargo operators from its airports, effective February 1, due to safety concerns, freight news site The Loadstar reported on January 27 citing a letter by the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

“In the interest of aviation safety and in accordance with Article 4 of the Air Service Agreement [...] the UAE GCAA has decided to ban all operations of cargo aircraft from the Republic of Moldova to/from UAE airports, until further notice,” the letter to the authority's Moldovan counterpart (Autoritatea Aeronautica Civila a Republicii Moldova - AAC) declared.

There had been “no significant improvement of safety standards of the cargo operators, or in [the] adoption of long-term measures by [the AAC] since the first safety consultation meeting in 2013,” it added.

The move will affect Aerotranscargo and Air Stork, as well as Libya's Global Air Transport and Bangladesh's Bismillah Airlines, which use Aerotrans’ Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) to connect Sharjah with Delhi International, Dhaka, and Ostend, a source told the news site.

Safety issues since July have included three incidents in which the pilot was “identified as the instigator”, none of which was reported by the operator as required, and a ban on Air Stork in September for alleged safety violations, the letter said.

Also, at least two cargo airlines had broken the aviation agreement between the two countries by basing an aircraft in the UAE and by taking up seventh-freedom services with no continuation of the flights to or from Moldova.

The move comes as the AAC continues its own safety crackdown on Moldovan operators, revoking the AOCs of cargo carrier Oscar Jet and passenger carrier Tandem-Aero in December following audits and inspections. Earlier in the year, it suspended the AOC of another cargo operator, Fly Pro, and briefly suspended that of passenger airline Terra Avia.