Yemenia threatens to cancel Airbus deal

YEMEN’S national carrier, Yemenia, is threatening to cancel its order of 10 Airbus A350s due to its treatment after the crash of one of its A310s in the Indian Ocean.

The carrier says that both France and Airbus have been “wronging Yemenia” before results of the investigation into the crash have become available.

“If the French position remains harsh, and if the pressure on Yemenia continues, instead of waiting for the results of the investigation…we will be forced to reconsider the deal,” said chairman Abdul Khaleq al-Qadi.

“We find that the French side and Airbus are not being cooperative…The French side is wronging Yemenia.”

Yemenia has been strongly criticised for its safety standards. Public protests in Marseille have called for an end to “flying coffins” while the French authorities have warned Yemenia that it has to make “very big efforts” to not be placed on the European blacklist of dangerous airlines.

French transport minister, Dominique Bussereau, told the press that aircraft had been banned from French airspace in 2007 due to “worrisome defects”.

However, Yemenia denies the accusations. Yemen’s transport minister Khaled al-Wazir said the aircraft was checked in May 2009 in Sanaa under Airbus supervision.

The Airbus deal is estimated to be worth US$2 billion.

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