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Monday, February 16, 1998 Published at 15:49 GMT


How safe are Airbuses?

A China Airlines A300 similar to this crashed in Taiwan

Different types of Airbuses have been involved in 10 major crashes in a decade, but experts say it still has a relatively good safety record.

The Airbus 310 - the model which has gone down in Thailand - is, like the others, made by the European consortium Airbus Industrie.

The manufacturers say their aircraft have an overall reliability of 99%. Most of the crashes have been attributed to human error rather than a fault with the aircraft.

But there have been a number of recent crashes in Asia.

In February 200 people died when a Taiwanese A 300 crashed while trying to land at Taiwan's main international airport. In September another A300 model went down trying to land in Indonesia. All 294 passengers and crew were killed.

Airbus facts

An Airbus aircraft takes off or lands every 10 seconds somewhere in the world.

Airbus Industrie has sold more than 2,600 aircraft during its 25-year history. Approximately 1,600 are in service with about 140 operators worldwide.

The Airbus Industrie aircraft family comprises three different aircraft groups:

  • The 124-185 seat, single-aisle A319/A320/A321

  • The 220-266 seat widebody A300/A310

  • The 263-350-seat widebody A330/A340.

Previous Airbus crashes

February 1998: 197 killed when A300 crashed in Taiwan

September 1997: 234 killed when A300 crashed in Indonesia

July 1994: Seven killed when A330 crashed in Toulouse, France, when crew were testing simulated engine failure

April 1994: 259 killed when A300 crashed in Japan.

March 1994: 75 killed when A310 crashed in Siberia

September 1992: 167 killed when A300 crashed in Kathmandu, Nepal

July 1992: 113 killed when A310 crashed in Kathmandu

January 1992: 87 killed when A320 crashed in Strasbourg

February 1990: 90 killed when A320 crashed in Bangalore

June 1988: eight killed when A320 crashed in Habersheim.

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