Thursday, June 11, 2009

Air France - AF 447 - Meeting of the CEO with the Press

Meeting of the Chief Executive Officer with the AJPAE (French Professional Aviation and Space Journalists Association)

Paris, 11 June 2009 - 12:15 local time

Air France Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Henri Gourgeon today met with members from the AJPAE (French Professional Aviation and Space Journalists Association).

This meeting, planned some time ago, was devoted to the current situation and outlook for air transport.

In his opening speech, Pierre-Henri Gourgeon reiterated to the thirty French and foreign media present that all Air France staff have remained totally mobilized since the tragic accident of Air France flight 447. Every member of the staff shares the deep distress of the families and friends of the victims, crew and colleagues who were lost on this flight, and there has been a feeling of great solidarity throughout the Company.

The CEO reminded journalists that the investigation will be long and difficult, given the location of the accident. Analysis of the initial results of the searches being carried out may give us an indication of the circumstances of the catastrophe. Various scenarios could then be built by the experts. In addition to which, we hope to recover the flight recorders. As for the assumptions made by some of the media, they are pure speculation.

Air France launched its programme for replacing the anemometric sensors on Friday, 29 May, as soon as it received the stock of parts. Due to the problem concerning speed measurement, which had been observed in the last automatic messages from the aircraft, the replacement programme was stepped up.

We cannot, however, assume any link between the sensors and the causes of the accident. Airbus and the European Aviation Safety Agency maintain that the A330/A340s are safe with any one of the three types of existing sensors.

Air France will be totally transparent in dealing with the investigators and, in agreement with them, in communicating with the general public and its passengers, concluded the Chief Executive Officer.

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