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Middle east

Yemenia threatens to reconsider Airbus order after fatal crash

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-08

Yemen's national carrier Yemenia has said it may reconsider an order to buy 10 Airbus A350s, accusing France of being uncooperative following last week's deadly crash off the Comoros islands.

AFP - Yemen's national carrier Yemenia warned on Tuesday it may reconsider an order to buy 10 Airbus A350s, accusing France of not being "cooperative" over the crash of one of its planes off the Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros last week.
  
"If the French position remains harsh, and if the pressure on Yemenia continues, instead of waiting for the results of the investigation... we will be forced to reconsider the deal," chairman Abdul Khaleq al-Qadi said.
  
"We find that the French side and Airbus are not being cooperative... The French side is wronging Yemenia," he told AFP.
  
Sixty six French nationals were onboard the Yemenia A310 which crashed into the Indian Ocean last Tuesday killing all but one of the 153 passengers and crew on board.
  

The disaster has sparked protests among the Comoran community in France over the condition of the 19-year-old Airbus that Yemenia used on its Moroni service.
  
French authorities warned Yemenia that it has to make "very big efforts" to avoid being blacklisted in the EU, while the airline officials rejected criticism of its safety standards.
  
Yemenia is not on the EU blacklist containing the names of more than 200 airlines or firms either banned from operating in Europe or only allowed under strict restrictions.
  
French Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau had said that the plane was barred from entering France over "worrisome defects" detected during a maintenance check on the Airbus A310 in 2007.
  
But a French transport official later said the Airbus jet was not formally barred from entering France and had simply not returned to the country since the defects were detected.
  
Yemenia ordered the 10 A350 XWB (Extra Wide Body) aircraft during the Dubai air show in November 2007 in a deal worth around two billion dollars.
  
The government of impoverished Yemen owns 51 percent of Yemenia's shares, while neighbouring oil-rich Saudi Arabia holds the rest.

  

Date created : 2009-07-07

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