Qantas vouches for A330 despite crash

SYDNEY: Australian flag-carrier Qantas on Tuesday said it had confidence in its Airbus A330s, despite last week's Air France crash, and rejected any link to an incident that left 14 injured last year.

A spokesman said there were no plans to replace its A330s' air speed sensors or pitot probes, the focus of the Air France investigation, as they are made by a different manufacturer.

"Qantas can confirm we use an alternate manufacturer to Air France," the spokesman told AFP.

"Qantas has not received any directive or recommendation from either our pitot probe manufacturer, or from Airbus or regulatory authorities, to replace these probes.

"We have complied with all directives and recommendations as they apply to our fleet and are confident in the safety of our fleet."

An Air France A330 disappeared over the Atlantic on June 1 with 228 people on board while en route to Paris from Brazil. Initial investigations into the cause of the crash have focused on a possible malfunction in the air speed sensors.

The spokesman dismissed any relationship with an incident in October when a Qantas A330 flying from Singapore to Perth went into two sudden and steep dives, causing several serious injuries and prompting an emergency landing.

A probe examined the role of the Air Data Inertial Reference Units (ADIRUs), which help supply information such as air speed and altitude.

"Based on information released by Airbus to date... and information in the public domain, there is no link between the Qantas event in October 2008 and the Air France crash," the spokesman said.

"It would appear that the circumstances in each were very different.

"The ADIRUs used by the Qantas Group on its A330 fleet are a different design and made by a different manufacturer than those used by Air France."

Emergency workers have recovered 16 bodies from the Air France crash, which was the worst aviation accident since 2001 and unprecedented in the company's history. Qantas operates 10 A330-300s and six Airbus A330-200s.