Rediff.com  » Business » Air France crash: No effect on Kingfisher's Airbus order

Air France crash: No effect on Kingfisher's Airbus order

By Sharmistha Mukherjee in New Delhi
June 04, 2009 09:53 IST
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Despite an Air France's Airbus A330-200 aircraft (flight AF 447) having gone missing over the Atlantic, the Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher Airlines said on Thursday it was satisfied with the performance of the aircraft.

Kingfisher has five A330-200s currently operating in its fleet, which ply between India and the United Kingdom. Deliveries are pending for another 15. Contacted by Business Standard, a company spokesperson said the airline did not '. . .envisage making any changes to the order book at this time'.

The tragic loss of AF 447, he added, was a matter under investigation and did not call for immediate conclusions.

Jet Airways, on the other hand, refrained from commenting on the issue, deeming it to be a 'delicate' one. The airline has 10 Airbus A330-200s deployed in its fleet.

It has deliveries pending with Airbus for five more, according to the website of the aeroplane's manufacturer.

Jet Airways had last taken delivery of an Airbus A330-200 aircraft at the ILA Berlin Air Show last year. At the time, the airline had indicated that the aircraft would be deployed on new routes to serve Hong Kong and aid in expanding services to Europe and West Asia.

The shortest fuselage version of the Airbus A330 series -- A330-200 -- offers an enhanced payload capability and greater cargo volume on medium-capacity routes to extended-range operations. It has been appreciated by the aviation industry for its efficiency.

Till April this year, Airbus had received 557 orders for the A330-200, of which 343 had been delivered. At present, the aircraft flies with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Garuda Indonesia, among others.

In India, the Airbus has a robust following with Air India, Indigo, Jet Airways, Kingfisher, Go Air and Flyington Freightors as its customers.

The Air France's Airbus A330-200, suspected debris of which were spotted in the Atlantic over Tuesday-Wednesday, was carrying 228 passengers and crew from Brazil to Paris when it disappeared on Monday. Investigators are now trying to ascertain the cause of the mishap.

Incidentally, another Airbus A330 aircraft, has also been involved in an accident in the past, in Australia.  In 2008, Qantas Flight 72, enroute from Singapore to Perth, had made an emergency landing at Learmonth Airport, Western Australia, following an inflight accident featuring a pair of sudden uncommanded pitch-down manoeuvres that had resulted in serious injuries to many occupants.

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Sharmistha Mukherjee in New Delhi
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