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Wed, Nov 01, 2006

Cypriot Airline Ajet Plans To Fold Next Year

Name Change Didn't Help After Fatal Accident

The airline whose unpressurized 737 crashed last year in Greece, killing 121, is going out of business.

Ajet -- the new name given Cyprus-based airline Helios Airways after the accident -- had been struggling ever since to recover its reputation and revenues.

The pilots of that ill-fated Boeing 737-300 failed to notice their aircraft was not being pressurized correctly as the plane climbed to altitude. Greek accident investigators found them mainly to blame, along with lax maintenance procedures on the ground, and even tweaked Boeing for "ineffective measures in response to previous reports of pressurization problems."

The plane flew several hours on autopilot, with the flight crew incapacitated, until it ran out of fuel and crashed in the Greek countryside.

As Aero-News has reported, the European Union has been threatening to revoke landing rights for all Cyprus-based commercial flights because of what they consider an inadequate aviation infrastructure and lax controls on aviation safety.

The holding company for Ajet, Libra Holidays, has decided to pull the plug on that troubled airline and flights will end within three months. It will decide at later date how to offload the two leased 737s in the fleet. The company will still remain a legal entity to deal with financial claims stemming from the accident.

FMI: www.ajet.com

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