Tuesday, 9 June 2009 12:00 AM
Search teams involved in the recovery of the wreckage of Air France flight AF 447 have recovered 24 bodies from the Atlantic, according to Brazilian officials.
A large section of the Airbus 330 tailfin was also recovered from the water, following a crash in the early hours of Monday June 1st. Some 228 people were believed to be onboard at the time of the crash – including five Brits and three Irish nationals.
The search has been focused 1,000 kilometres north-east of Brazil’s Fernando de Noronha islands, where the Airbus disappeared during a storm. The plane had been on route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.
While the cause of the crash remains unclear, theories mooted include an electrical short-circuit caused by lightening during a storm and a suggestions the plane’s instruments had frozen causing it to fly too slowly.
Specialist American listening equipment is being dispatched to the scene to assist in the search for the plane’s black boxes. The machines can look for the recording devices at depths of over 6,000 metres.
Airline chiefs have been meeting in Kuala Lumpur this week at the annual International Air Transport Association (IATA) meeting, with a number coming out in support of the Airbus 330.
Emirates Airline president Tim Clark joined chief executive of Singapore Airlines Chew Choon Seng in offering their support to the aircraft.
In addition Airbus has referred to the aircraft as the “the backbone of the industry” during the same conference.
Meanwhile Air France-KLM unveiled an 8.1 per cent drop in passenger traffic during May. However, this is in line with wider industry expectations, with the IATA predicting a $9 billion loss for the industry as a whole this year.