By Andy Sambidge
Air India hits back at reports questioning operational, engineering infrastructure.
The airline at the centre of India's worst plane disaster for more than a decade has defended its safety record amid reports questioning its operational and engineering set-up.
Air India Express, whose flight IX 812 from Dubai to Mangalore crashed on May 22 resulting in the death of 158 passengers and crew, said: "Regrettably, in certain sections, this accident is being used to malign the functioning of Air India Express and implying that the Operational and Engineering infrastructure is inadequate and does not meet the required norms.
"We wish to reiterate here that Air India Express meets all regulatory requirements and has been always well equipped to handle the operations and maintenance of its fleet to established standards."
On Tuesday, officials said the black box recorder has been recovered from the aircraft.
Flight IX 812 crashed early Saturday while landing at Mangalore city's "table-top" airport which
overlooks a ravine
All the bodies of the dead have been removed from the wreckage of the Boeing 737-800. There were eight survivors.
While the cause of the crash has not been established, India's media and some aviation experts have said the runway at Mangalore
was not wide or long enough
and may have given little room for the pilot to react after landing.
In a statement on its website, Air India added: "Air India Express is an airline with an independent air operator permit. The airline's operations are therefore independently audited by regulatory agencies and the audits have been cleared regularly from inception to the satisfaction of the regulatory agencies."
It said the track record of Air India Express has been "outstanding" with its technical dispatch reliability above 99.5 percent.
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I wonder what the news channels like NDTV would have done if not for the tragic accident on Saturday. I happened to watch the news beetween 0530 & 0600 and they had no clue what exactly had happened. At the time the news they put out was that it was a IXE-DXB aircraft that had hit the mountains 5 minutes after take-off. Being from IXE, I knew this was not possible and since then have been amazed at the various theories that have been offered. News channels need to show more responsibility while covering tragedies.
Kindly read the facts as in the article in "http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/may/26/first-man-who-landed-in-mangalore-airport-is-fine.htm".