This week the news has been dominated by the recent reports surrounding the Airbus A330. The plane was travelling from Brazil to Paris when it encountered harsh weather- and disappeared from radar screens.
Today Military aircrafts and warships from Brazil and France are continuing to search large areas of the Atlantic for any signs of the Air France jet- which disappeared with 228 passengers on board.
The French environment minister, Jean-Louis Borloo, told France Info radio that it was “a race against time” to find the wreckage of the flight.
Borloo said the plane’s black box would emit information for only 30 days and needed to be found as soon as possible.
He did however, express concern that the search operation would be extremely difficult because the current is strong and the water is very deep. Further complications have also arisen because of uncertainty surrounding the time the jet went down.
French minister for transport, Dominique Bussereau, warned that the investigation could be lengthy, he said: “It could be a few days, a few weeks or a few months.”
Representatives from the airline have said the 12-member crew (including a 58-year-old pilot who had worked for it since 1988) were all highly experienced.
The families of passengers stayed the night in hotels at Charles de Gaulle airport, paid for by Air France.
Borloo said that relatives could eventually go to the crash zone if they wanted to.
Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has released a statement in which he said he will invite the families of the passengers to the Elysée palace on Monday.
François Brousse, of Air France, claimed that several of the plane’s mechanisms malfunctioned, which in turn made it difficult for the plane to make contact with air traffic control. Some have gone on further to speculate the jet was struck by lightening.
If the tragic conclusion turns out that there are no survivors, it will be documented as the world’s worst aviation disaster since 2001, and the deadliest in Air France’s 75-year history.
A minute’s silence will be observed at France’s friendly football match against Nigeria today, when the French players will wear black armbands.
Passengers on the aircraft included 61 French citizens and 58 Brazilians, as well as 26 Germans and at least a dozen other nationalities.
The 12 crew members were French, while seven children and a baby were aboard.
Patricia Coakley from Whityby (North Yorkshire) conducted an interview with Sky News; she believed her husband, Arthur was on the flight after completing a four-week program on a Brazilian oil rig.
“He was very excited about seeing his children and going on holiday to Corfu on Friday,” she told Sky News.
“My only hope is I keep phoning his mobile … it rings, so it can’t be at the bottom of the sea.
“I have three distraught children … we hope daddy will be coming home soon.”