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.
It took all the resources it could reasonably muster, but Airbus managed to reach its target of delivering 12 A380 aircraft last year when on December 30 it handed over to Emirates Airline that carrier’s fourth superjumbo.
Air France and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on September 8 inaugurated a new terminal designed to consolidate traffic operated by the flag carrier’s three regional subsidiaries and increase handling capacity of flights involving five European countries that do not require passport controls with France.
The 2003 Paris Air Show, held June 15 to 22, opened against a backdrop of bitter transatlantic political disputes over France’s opposition to the U.S.-led Iraq War and the future of the Middle East. It ended with carriers from that region providing the whole aerospace industry with a welcome financial shot in the arm by placing multi-billion-dollar orders for new airliners.