Spain halts trials of newly assembled A400M after crash

12th May 2015, Comments 0 comments

Spain announced Tuesday that Airbus A400M military transport aircraft currently in production will not be allowed to fly until authorities determine what caused one of the planes to crash, killing four people.

An A400M that was made in the southern city of Seville went down during a test flight in Spain on Saturday, killing four crew members and seriously wounding two others.

"Obviously, as a precaution, while waiting for the results of the investigation, it is better if the planes in production and which are about to be tested cannot fly without knowing what actually happened," Spanish Defence Minister Pedro Morenes said on radio station Onda Cero.

The halt of test flights affects the planes currently on the production line, while A400Ms that are already in trials will be allowed to continue.

Airbus said it is "too early to know what impact this (Spain's) decision will have on the supply chain."

"We are working closely with military authorities and with our clients to deal with this situation," a company spokeswoman said.

About 20 of the planes are currently on the assembly line in different stages of production, Airbus said.

Meanwhile the company was to carry out a test flight of an A400M between Toulouse, the aircraft maker's headquarters in southern France, and Seville on Tuesday.

Germany, Britain, Turkey and Malaysia have suspended their A400Ms from service while the investigation is ongoing. France said it will only carry out "top priority flights" with the plane for now.

A memorial service for the four victims of Saturday's crash is set to take place in Seville on Tuesday.

© 2015 AFP

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