BY Staff Reporter
DUBAI (Nov. 1) Emirates, along with Lufthansa and Air France-KLM, have suspended flights over Sinai as a precaution, following Saturday’s crash of a Russian plane that resulted in the death of all 224 passengers aboard.
“Emirates is currently avoiding flying over the Sinai peninsula until more information is available,” said a spokesperson of the Gulf carrier in the AFP statement released Saturday.
The militant group Daesh claimed responsibility for downing the Airbus A321, but Russian and Egyptian authorities rejected the claim. Egypt has recovered and obtained both black boxes, which it believes will help shed light on the cause of this deadly crash.
Reuters reported that investigators would be looking into, among other things, the weather at the time, the pilots’ experience, maintenance records, signs of a stall and any evidence of an explosion.
The Kogalymavia 7K9268 flight with 224 people aboard, including 25 children, which was operating from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, went off radar 23 minutes after takeoff. Passengers included two Ukrainian and one Belarusian citizens; the youngest was a 10-month-old child.
Accidents at cruising altitude are one of the rarest categories of air tragedies but also among the most deadly, accounting for 13 percent of fatal incidents since 2005, according to Boeing.
Experts consistently warn air accidents are usually caused by a cocktail of factors, both human and technical.
According to FlightRadar24, an authoritative Sweden-based flight tracking service, the aircraft was descending rapidly at about 6,000 feet (1,800 metres) per minute when the signal was lost to air traffic control.
France’s civil aviation safety agency (BEA) said it would send a team to Egypt on Sunday to join investigators from Germany and Russia. The United States Secretary of State John Kerry has offered U.S. assistance, if needed, a spokesman said.