Jean-Francois Colin, Air France Senior Executive Vice President:
As you know, Air France has just
experienced a serious accident. Flight AF 358 carrying 297 passengers and 12 crew members left Paris-
Charles de Gaulle Airport at 1:32 PM Paris local time. At 10:10 PM Paris
local time, while landing at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, the airplane skidded
off the runway and then burst into flames.There are no fatalities. All passengers and crew members were able to
clear the aircraft before the fire broke out. Twenty-two passengers suffering
minor injuries are treated in five area hospitals.
Air France has established a passenger information center and a number is
available for family or friends of those who may have been on board flight AF
* for those calling from France: 0 800 800 812
* for those calling from North America and outside France:
(011) 33 1 56 93 10 00
Air France is providing whatever material and psychological assistance to
passengers who might need it.
As soon as possible, Air France will provide transportation back home to
those who want it. Also, Air France will compensate all passengers.
At the present time, it is too early to gauge how the accident occurred.
Investigations will be underway to determine the exact cause.
The aircraft, an Airbus A340, registered F-GLZQ, was received by Air
France on September 7, 1999. The jet logged 28,418 flight hours and 3,711
take-offs and landings. The last maintenance check occurred on July 5, 2005 at
Charles de Gaulle Airport.
The two pilots in command and the cabin crew were experienced Air France
The 57-year-old captain joined the Company in 1982 and logged more than
15,000 flight hours, including 1,000 on Airbus A340.
The 43-year-old first Officer joined Air France in 1985 and logged 10,700
flight hours, 2,500 of which were on Airbus A340.
Air France is paying homage to the entire crew: to the Captain, to the
First Officer and to the cabin crew. Their calm and professionalism during a
crisis prevented a major tragedy.
Before being hospitalized, the First Officer made a last check around the
aircraft to make sure that no passengers remained on board.
Chairman Spinetta and the entire airline staff express solidarity with
passengers and their relatives.