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Yemen Air

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By Henry Samuel in Paris Published: 1:20PM BST 30 Jun 2009The Yemeni transport minister said the aircraft had a full inspection under Airbus supervision in May.

Photo: REUTERS The problems with the Airbus A310-300 were highlighted by the air transport authorities in 2007.

However, Dominique Bussereau, the French transport minister, said the plane had not returned to France since the faults, which he would not detail, were detected.

�Related ArticlesYemeni plane crash: child survivor found in Indian OceanAir France jet with 228 people on board missing off BrazilAir France crash: sounds 'are not' from black boxAir France crash: planes to have speed monitors replacedVirgin adds planes to fleet as it attacks BA "The company was not on the black list but was subject to stricter checks on our part, and was due to be interviewed shortly by the European Union's safety committee," he said.

The accident has prompted an investigation into whether Yemenia Air should be added to the European Union's blacklist.

Antonio Tajani, the Transport Commissioner, said safety experts would contact the Yemen airline "to see what happened and to verify the level of safety" of its operations in Europe.

However, the Yemeni transport minister said the aircraft had a full inspection under Airbus supervision in May.

An Airbus statement said the plane, an Airbus 310 which carries 220 passengers, went into service 19 years ago, in 1990, and had accumulated 51,900 flight hours.

It has been operated by Yemenia (Yemen Airways) since 1999.

The A310 has been in service since 1983 and was part of the Franco-German planemaker's first range of aircraft, however, the model stopped being made in July 2007.

According to Aviation Safety, a specialised web side, there had been eight accidents involving the A310 since 1983 and 673 victims.

Their ability to fly for three hours on one engine means the aircraft are authorised to conduct long-haul flights in distant locations or over oceans.

The Airbus safety record is already under scrutiny in France following the crash of the Air France flight from Rio de Janerio, in Brazil, to Paris a month ago, killing 228 people.

The Air France flight went down in an area of heavy tropical turbulence.

BEA, the French air investigations body, is due to issue a full report on the crash on Thursday.

The Yemenia flight that crashed started in a Paris airport on Monday and arrived in Sanaa, Yemen where passengers changed to an Airbus A310 and departed for the Comoros via Djibouti.

The plane had to cope with strong crosswinds that apparently forced it to pull out of a first landing attempt.
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