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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-08-15

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Helios denies crashed plane was found unfit to fly

  • [01] Helios denies crashed plane was found unfit to fly

    Helios Airways, owner of a passenger jet that crashed near Athens killing all 121 passengers and crew, denied allegations on Monday that a flight engineer had branded the Boeing 737-300 as unfit to fly a day before the disaster.

    The company's chairman, Andreas Drakos, rejected reports that the engineer had resigned and that another engineer called to inspect the plane had deemed it safe; and that Helios had a fast staff turnover among engineers and technicians.

    Drakos also denied that the captain scheduled to take the ill-fated Athens to Prague flight via Athens had refused his assignment and been replaced by a colleague.

    "The aircraft underwent maintenance on the basis of international standards and civil aviation regulations," he claimed.

    A decompression fault on a flight between Warsaw and Larnaca had been fixed in London and the airliner been declared flightworthy both by a global maintance company and by the aircraft's manufacturer.

    Drakos declined to state the aircraft's previous history, saying the data would be given to authorities. In addition, Drakos pledged that Helios' engineers would fully cooperate with Greek authorities investigating the case.

    Asked to comment on the grounding of one of Helios' flights on Monday after a refusal to fly by crew and then passengers, the chairman said staff on the roster were friends of the dead crew members, and that the emotional side of the case was taken into account.

    A flight to Bulgaria was suspended after the crew refused to board, and passengers demanded seats on other airlines or cash refunds.

    On Sunday, distraught relatives of the dead had complained bitterly of the airline's refusal to inform them of the crash or its aftermath, instead asking them to note the names of anyone they believed had joined the ill-fated flight.

    Other incoming flights on Sunday, the day of crash, and on Monday, were unaffected, and the company had chartered two jets from Austrian Airways and Eygpt Air to carry out its remaining flights for the day, a Helios spokesman said earlier in the day.

    Drakos confirmed that all Helios flights were now running normally.

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