Page last updated at 15:00 GMT, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 16:00 UK

Yemenia 'may cancel Airbus order'

Comorans in France, at a rally on 5 July, hold up banners calling for justice for the victims of Flight IY626
France's Comoran community were angry about the state of the plane

The airline Yemenia has said it may reconsider an order for 10 Airbus A350s because it has received "no support" from the manufacturer.

Yemenia chairman Abdul Khaleq al-Qadi said Airbus had jumped to conclusions after the crash of a Yemenia plane off the Comoros Islands last week.

Without any proof, he said, Airbus had told the media the crash was the result of technical problems.

The Yemenia crash killed 153 people. One 12-year-old girl survived.

'Moral support'

Yemenia, which is owned by the governments of Yemen and Saudi Arabia, placed the $2bn order for 10 A350 Airbus planes at the Dubai air show in 2007.

Mr al-Qadi said he was disappointed by the reaction to the crash from both France and Airbus. Neither had shown any "moral support" for Yemenia.

The Yemenia passengers travelling to the Comoros Islands had left Paris for Marseille and Sanaa aboard a modern Airbus A330. But they switched to an older A310 - flight IY626 - to continue to Djibouti and Moroni, the capital of the Comoros.

Sixty-six French nationals were aboard the A310 when it crashed on its approach to Moroni.

EU blacklist

The Comoran community in France held protests in both Paris and Marseille, saying that the 19-year-old aircraft had not been fit for service.

And the French Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau on Friday said that Yemenia was "under strict surveillance", and would have to make "big efforts" to avoid being placed on an EU blacklist of airlines banned from entering Europe.

Yemenia, however, says that bad weather - strong winds and high seas - was the more likely cause of the crash of flight IY626.

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