Thirty screws ‘missing’ from Air France jet

Air France has suspended the maintenance of its aircraft by Chinese company Taeco after 30 screws were found to be missing from one of its planes, it said on Thursday.

Thirty screws 'missing' from Air France jet
Photo: Antoine Fleury-Gobert (file)

The airline made the discovery in mid-November and said the screws were missing from a protective panel of an A340 plane after a full service by the Chinese company.

Taeco, based in Xiamen, southeast China, is one of the top service companies for long-haul planes and its other customers include British Airways, American Airlines, JAL, Emirates and Lufthansa.

“We have stopped sending our planes for the moment” to Taeco, Air France CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in Beijing.

Air France made the move as it awaits the results of its investigation, which is expected to take “a few days”.

On Tuesday the Chinese firm announced it was launching its own probe.

Taeco has serviced Air France’s Boeing 747 planes for over four years, representing “10 percent of our long-haul fleet”, Juniac said.

The incident involved the second A340 plane sent to Xiamen for a full service.

A full service occurs every six years and takes just over a month, costing “several million dollars”, an Air France official said.

Taeco services “between five and seven planes per year” for Air France, Juniac said. In an earlier statement, the number had been put at “less than five a year”.

An Air France Boeing 747-400 was grounded in 2010 following a full service in China after some of the plane’s surfaces were repainted using potentially flammable paint. The plane had been in the skies for over three weeks.


New flights to south of France launched by Jet2

The low-cost British airline Jet2 has announced it will begin operating new services between the UK and southern France, starting in the summer of 2022.

New flights to south of France launched by Jet2
Flights will operate from May 1st 2022. Photo: AFP

When travelling is possible again, getting to Toulouse from the north-west of England is set to become much easier with the launch of new flights from Manchester Airport.

Jet2 already flies to Bergerac, La Rochelle and Nice. The company announced the new destination in response to demand for summer 2022 holidays.

Flights to the “Pink City” in south west France will operate from May 1st until October 16th 2022.

“Since putting our Summer 2022 programme on sale from Manchester Airport, we have added a significant number of flights and destinations in response to the demand from customers who want to get their all-important holidays booked in,” Steve Heapy, CEO of and Jet2holidays, said in a press release.

Since the British government announced a lockdown roadmap on Tuesday, with plans to end England restrictions by June 21st, the company has begun to see a surge in bookings.

READ ALSO: Will summer holidays in France be possible this year?

However the present rules on entry into France from the UK are the strictest they have ever been, with virtually no travel allowed between the two countries and no end-date to the current restrictions.

Jet2 plans to reopen its services in mid-May.

“Following the UK government announcement that international travel will not return until May 17th 2021 at the earliest, we have taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 16th May 2021,” Jet2 said on Twitter.