Airbus to continue A400M test flights following Spain crash

GMT 12:53 2015 Monday ,11 May

Arab Today, arab today Airbus to continue A400M test flights following Spain crash

Germany's air force has temporarily grounded its sole Airbus A400M
Madrid - AFP

European aerospace giant Airbus said Monday it will continue test flights for its A400M military transport plane despite the crash of one of the aircraft on a test flight in Spain that killed four employees.

"We will not suspend our own test flights," an Airbus spokesman told AFP.

The next test flight is scheduled to take place on Tuesday in Toulouse in southern France where the company's headquarters are located.

An A400M military transport plane crashed on Saturday just north of Seville's airport, killing four members of the crew and seriously injuring two others, an engineer and a mechanic.

The crash was the first involving one of the aircraft, which Airbus assembles at a plant in Seville.

Workers at Airbus factories in Spain will mark five minutes of silence on Monday in honour of the victims while workers of the company in other nations will observe one minute of silence.

Earlier Monday, Malaysia became the latest country to ground its only A400M, following similar decisions by Britain, Germany and Turkey.
France, which has six of the planes, has said it would only carry out "top priority flights" with the A400M until more facts emerge on what caused the accident.

There are a total of 12 A400M planes in use at the moment -- in addition to the six operated by France, Britain and Turkey have two each and Malaysia and Germany each have one.

Airbus employs 58,000 people around the world, including 7,000 in Spain.

The A400M military was developed for Spain and six other European NATO nations: Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Turkey.

The A400M programme has been beset by problems since it was launched in 2003.

In addition to production and delivery delays, the programme ran 30 percent -- or 6.2 billion euros ($7 billion) -- over budget.


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