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XL Airways Refuses To Release Pilots’ Identities In A320 Downing

Posted in Air New Zealand, Cockpit Crew NewsNo comments

‘Against Company Policy’ To Release Any Details

In an unusual twist to the investigation of the November 27 crash of an Air New Zealand A320 near Perpignan, France, German airline officials have refused to release any details identifying the XL Airways pilots reportedly flying the plane.

Unlike most accident investigations that receive candor and cooperation from those involved, certain aspects of this investigation are being hampered by XL Airways policy against divulging information about its pilots.

Asger Schubert, XL Airways spokesman, told reporters from New Zealand’s Sunday Star-Times it is against the company policy of all German airlines to release personal information about employees.

Schubert stated that although he was impressed with the way New Zealand media had reported the crash and provided victims’ personal information, it was not the way things are done in Germany, the Star-Times said.

By contrast, Air New Zealand divulged information about employees involved in the incident without hesitation, and has continued to be open with the news media about any progress in the accident investigation.

As ANN reported, what was to have been a routine flight turned tragic as the A320 was on approach to Perpignan, France, when the plane suddenly dove into the Mediterranean Sea. The plane was bound for Frankfurt on a ferry flight operated by XL Airways.

“I could see it was an airliner because I saw two large engines. There was no fire, nothing,” a local policeman who witnessed the crash told France Info radio. “It was flying straight, then it turned brutally towards the ground. I said to myself it will never pull out and there was a big spray of water.”

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