Faults were detected in France in 2007 on the Yemenia A310-300 plane that crashed near Comoros today and the airline was under scrutiny, French Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau said.
However, Yemen’s transport minister said the aircraft had undergone a thorough inspection in May under Airbus supervision, Reuter`s reports.
“It was a comprehensive inspection carried out in Yemen with experts from Airbus,” Khaled Ibrahim al-Wazeer told Reuters by telephone from the Yemeni capital Sanaa.
Bussereau told the I-tele television channel that faults were discovered when the plane was inspected in 2007 by the DGAC (French transport authorities) and that the plane had not returned to France since then.
“The company was not on the blacklist but was subject to stricter checks on our part, and was due to be interviewed shortly by the European Union’s safety committee,” he said.
A European Commission official said the crashed plane had sparked an inquiry into the Yemenia airline’s safety record.
The EC could not confirm whether there were plans by the EU’s air safety committee to interview Yemenia.
Many of the passengers began their journey in Paris Marseille aboard a different Yemenia plane, an A330. They switched to the A310-300 in Sanaa.
Bussereau had said in an earlier interview on the radio that the plane was not at fault in the crash.