Crash airline flew 'trash'

6th January 2004, Comments 0 comments

LYON, France, Jan 6 (AFP) - Two travellers who flew on Flash Airlines last year said Tuesday that seat belts did not work on their plane, as questions remained about the airworthiness of the Egyptian company's jets after the Red Sea crash.

LYON, France, Jan 6 (AFP) - Two travellers who flew on Flash Airlines last year said Tuesday that seat belts did not work on their plane, as questions remained about the airworthiness of the Egyptian company's jets after the Red Sea crash.

"The seat belts would not buckle. Our three children could not buckle up during the two flights," said a 43-year-old French woman who flew round-trip on Flash Airlines from the central-eastern French city of Lyon to Luxor, Egypt.

"When the airplane's engines were fired up for take-off, my seat fell backwards," added the woman, who asked not to be named.

One of the Egyptian charter company's two Boeing 737-300 jets crashed in the Red Sea on Saturday shortly after take-off from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, killing all 148 people on board, including 133 French tourists.

The company has denied any safety problems on board its jets, but Swiss authorities said they had banned Flash Airlines from Swiss airspace in October 2002 after uncovering "serious shortcomings" in its two aircraft.

Another French woman in her 60s, who took the same flights from Lyon to Luxor and back in October and November 2003 as the first witness, told AFP: "The airplane was fit for the trash bin."

She explained: "The seat belts didn't work, the seats were broken, some of them completely broken down on one side. You had to lean to the left in order not to fall over, and the seats moved back and forth"

The woman said she had changed her seats so that her 12-year-old granddaughter could be buckled in properly.


© AFP

                                Subject: France news

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