Iraqi Airways (IA, Baghdad) has been banned from the European Union as well as European Free Trade Association members Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein following its recent failure to secure a Third Country Operators certificate (TCO) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) last week informed Iraqi Airways that its air traffic permit had been revoked with immediate effect as part of a bloc-wide blanket ban imposed on the carrier for alleged safety violations.

TCO inspections reportedly uncovered serious violations of ICAO protocol and standards by both the airline and the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (IqCAA).

As a result, Iraqi Airways flights to Europe - Copenhagen Kastrup, Frankfurt Int'l, London Gatwick, Gothenburg Landvetter, Malmö, and Stockholm Arlanda - have now been suspended indefinitely.

EASA indicates that while the Iraqi carrier is banned from using its own aircraft on flights to Europe, it may still employ wet-leased aircraft to serve the bloc provided the lease operator is EASA-compliant.