Air France today took delivery of its first Airbus A380, the 20th delivered by Airbus since Singapore Airlines took the first superjumbo in October 2007. The French carrier expects to become the first European airline to fly the all-new, double-deck airliner when it begins scheduled services next month.
Airbus has launched a study for improving flight data recovery, including extended data transmission for commercial airliners, the company announced last week in an apparent acknowledgement of the deficiencies highlighted by the crash of Air France Flight 447 and subsequent efforts to recover its FDR and CVR.
The condition of the wreckage recovered from that Air France A330-200 that plunged into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1 indicates that the airplane broke apart upon hitting the water, not while in flight as previously hypothesized, according to an interim report issued by the French civil aviation accident investigation bureau (BEA) today.
The National Transportation Safety Board has launched investigations into two recent incidents in which airspeed and altitude indications in Airbus A330s might have malfunctioned, adding to the suspicion that an instrument failure could have led to the June 1 loss of an Air France A330-200 (Flight 447) in the Atlantic Ocean, killing 228 people.
Search teams have found the bodies of the captain and a flight attendant among the victims of the crash of Air France Flight 447, the company confirmed today. So far crews have recovered at least 50 bodies from the Atlantic Ocean out of the 228 aboard the Airbus A330-200 when it crashed in the early morning hours of June 1.
Royal Air Maroc (RAM) and Air France Industries yesterday signed a shareholder agreement to create a joint-venture MRO facility at Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport. The companies will each own and operate an equal share of the operation. The companies expect to strengthen their respective positions in the European and African markets by providing a dedicated MRO service to support A320-family airliners.
Louis Gallois would not fuel speculation about what caused the Air France A330 to crash into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, but he did say that the replacement of pitot tubes had been instigated due to problems in takeoff and landing, not in cruise. This contradicts more than a week of speculation that a pitot tube failure may have been a major contributory factor to the accident.
To celebrate the adoption of its latest livery, Air France is conducting an international photography contest with the theme of “Air France Livery: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” Open to everyone, the contest seeks to identify the best photographs of Air France aircraft from 1946 to the airline’s newest color scheme unveiled in April.
Brazilian search teams this morning found aircraft debris, such as seats, floating in the Atlantic Ocean about 400 nm northeast of the Brazilian coastline more than a day after an Air France A330-200 disappeared while on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, according to published reports.
Airbus delivered the 500th A321 ever produced to Air France during a ceremony held last Friday at the manufacturer’s Hamburg, Germany delivery center. The largest member of the A320 family, the A321 seats 174 passengers in the two-class layout chosen by France’s flag carrier. The airline also served as the type’s launch customer when Airbus delivered the first A321 in 1994.