Yemenia fights back, threatens to reconsider Airbus deal
Yemen Observer: http://www.yobserver.com
Yemenia fights back, threatens to reconsider Airbus dealPosted in: Local News
Written By: Mohammed al-Kibsi
Article Date: Jul 9, 2009 - 7:37:02 AM
Hundreds of employees of the Yemenia Airways and families of the crashed plane crew marched on Wednesday to the premises of the French embassy in Sana'a.
The demonstrators vowed slogans “Where are our colleagues, Sarkozy?" and "What about investigation, Sarkozy?" referring to the victims of and probe into the last week's crash of Yemenia Airways passenger jet near the Comorian Islands coasts.
The marchers submitted a protest note to the embassy denouncing current investigations into the crash of the Yemenia flight IY 626 and search for bodies and debris.
Aljazeera TV channel in its Wednesday 16:00 hour Sana’a local time news screened the demonstrators and families of the victims crying in front of the French Embassy in Sana’a, however al-Jazeera channel claimed they were demonstrators in Hadramout condemning the killing of a citizen during a demonstration took place in Hadramout province the day before, a relative of one of the crew of Yemenia told Yemen Observer. “Wonder why Aljazeera ignored the news of our demonstration and used our pictures for a different news story,” said the angry relative.
In s sudden move the American teams that were taking part in the search operations decided stop searching without giving any explanations. Yemeni and Comorian authorities have hinted that the French authorities barred the Yemeni divers and investigators to take part in the search and investigations operations. Also a Comorian official said that the plane might be hit by a French missile as the French navy forces were undergoing a military exercise in the area where the plane was believed crushed.
“It seems the plane was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said the Comorian official.
A source at the Yemeni Committee on Monitoring Aviation Accidents affirmed that some debris including large pieces and about 13 bodies have been retrieved so far, as search for the black boxes continues. He added that a military jet has taken off from Moroni Airport heading to Mafia Island Airport, Tanzania, to transport the recovered bodies and debris of Yemenia ill-fated plane to Moroni.
Earlier the committee had received information from the Tanzanian authorities that 13 more bodies and debris from the Yemeni crashed airliner have been recovered off the Tanzanian coasts.
Search for the two black boxes is continuing with recent reports saying signals from the boxes were detected and they could be retrieved very soon.
Tanzanian authorities had announced that at least 13 bodies and debris that fisherman discovered off a Tanzanian island in the Indian Ocean are believed to be from the Yemenia Airbus that crashed on June 30.
Bloomberg reported that fishermen in small vessels spotted bodies floating around Mafia Island south of the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, and alerted the authorities yesterday, the island’s district commissioner, Manzie Mangochie, said today in a phone interview. Rescuers have gone to the site to conduct a search, he said.
“Because the bodies appear to be a mixture of Europeans and Africans, and there hasn’t been any other known cause, we believe they are from the airline crash,” Mangochie said.
In a related context Yemenia yesterday threatened to "reconsider" its order for 10 A350-800s valued at $2 billion because it believes Airbus has been unsupportive following last week's A310-300 crash in the Indian Ocean that killed 152. In interviews with media outlets, Yemenia Chairman Abdulkalek Kadi complained that the French government rushed to blame the airline's maintenance program for the accident and faulted Airbus for not backing the carrier. "We are not receiving cooperation from Airbus and some of the French people are really against us," he said. Speaking to AFP, he stated, "If the French position remains harsh and if the pressure on Yemenia continues. We will be forced to reconsider the [A350] deal. . .The French side is wronging Yemenia."
He told Reuters that Airbus failed to show "moral and media support" in the crash's aftermath, adding, "Yemenia expects support from the manufacturer because [the airline's] history over more than 40 years manifests its competence.
A Yemenia Airbus crashed into the Indian Ocean with 153 people aboard about 15 minutes from landing in the Comoros Islands’ capital, Moroni. One girl survived. Only a French teenager survived the tragedy