Days after some claims suggested that a Metrojet flight might have faced technical issues leading to a crash on Oct. 31, French airplane manufacturer Airbus SAS has said that it is very confident about the plane’s safety. The A321 was headed to St. Petersburg from the Sharm el-Sheikh resort in Egypt, carrying 224 people on board, when it crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
John Leahy, the Chief Operating Officer for Customers for Airbus, made the comments during the Dubai Airshow on Monday, and said, according to the Associated Press (AP), that he is "very confident in the A321's safety record and the safety of the design." The airplane manufacturer’s communications head, Stefan Schaffrath, also denied claims that the plane crashed due to technical failures.
The cause of the crash is being investigated and several reports, citing U.S. and U.K. officials, suggested that a bomb may have been placed in the hold of the plane. A report on Sunday by Reuters said that investigators in the case were “90 percent sure” that the Metrojet flight was brought down by a bomb.
"The indications and analysis so far of the sound on the black box indicate it was a bomb," an Egyptian investigation team member said according to Reuters, adding: "We are 90 percent sure it was a bomb."
An affiliate of the Islamic State group in the Sinai Peninsula had claimed that they had brought down the plane, but Egyptian authorities dismissed the claim, saying it was too early to jump to conclusions.
Due to speculations of a terror attempt against the plane, several flights, which were scheduled to fly several foreign tourists out of Sharm el-Sheikh, were cancelled. Russia announced last week that it will cancel new passenger planes to Egypt due to security reasons, but several airliners have been plying Russian tourists back home, allowing them to carry only cabin baggage. Russian cargo flights are flying back with the luggage separately.
Dmitry Gorin, vice president of the Russian Travel Agencies Association, told local media, according to AP, that about 23,000 Russian tourists are expected to have been brought back home by mid-day Monday. The AP report also added, citing the country’s Emergency Situations Ministry, that authorities will be bringing back more than 130 tons of tourists’ luggage.