196 airlines you should avoid

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Europe has one of the best safety records in the world when it comes to airplanes. Its safety rules are considered the gold standard by many. Yet many airlines based outside of Europe operate below essential safety levels. Member states of the European Union (E.U.) ban these airlines from operating in their countries.

In case you're curious, the E.U. has posted a PDF file naming the airlines blacklisted in Europe. You'll only encounter most of these airlines if you're flying in developing countries such as Gabon and the Kyrgyz Republic.

The good news? No airline based in North America is on the list.

The most disturbing detail? European experts don't think that Indonesia, a large country with a growing middle-class, adequately monitors the safety of its planes. No airline from Indonesia is considered safe enough to fly into E.U. countries.

Ready for a bit of gallows humor? One of the airlines on the blacklist is "Safe Air," based in the (not so) Democratic Republic of Congo.

The United States has not come up with its own blacklist.

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