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Statement by Air Transat regarding the ongoing investigation into Flight TS 236

MONTREAL, Sept. 3

Air Transat wishes to correct certain facts regarding the current investigation into the Flight TS 236 incident, and urges the media to exercise caution in its reporting.After verification, including relevant union authorities, Air Transat has concluded that much of the information reported today by a national media outlet is completely inaccurate. Also, some comments are not substantiated. No conversation, recorded or not, can be traced to the effect that the aircraft in question was not in a serviceable condition.

Mr. Jacob continued: 'Air Transat also wishes to reiterate that all airlines are subject to the same maintenance and safety requirements, regardless of size. We do not compromise on these issues, which explains the extreme importance we place on ensuring that this investigation be completed under the best possible conditions.

'Portuguese authorities have not completed their investigation and have not yet determined the exact cause of the fuel leak that affected Flight TS 236 on August 24. The latest interim report by investigators indicates that the location of the leak has been identified, and that it appears to be a rupture in a fuel line, possibly caused by contact with a hydraulic line. The authorities, who for the time being are the only qualified people in possession of all of the available information, are going no further for now. Analyses, including metal inspection, are in progress.

This same interim report ends with these words: 'This investigation Communiqué is based on preliminary information and is subject to change as the investigation progresses.

' The report also states: 'Further metallurgical analysis will be conducted on the failed fuel line to determine the cause of the failure. (...) Further fact gathering and analysis will continue.

'At the present time, only one employee in the Maintenance and Engineering division has been held out of service pending investigation with pay, as is standard in the industry when an investigation is under way. This person is a non unionized employee. It is customary in the industry to hold out of service any person closely related to the elements being examined by investigators. This is not a suspension, and even less so a firing, and we urge the media to choose their words with care. This action was taken on August 29 and is not the result of any conclusion whatsoever, which would be clearly premature.

'Air Transat regrets the speculation, even the hasty conclusions that are being reached by third parties who do not have the full information,' said Denis Jacob, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Transat. 'Certain details that are being overplayed, are often inaccurate, and may turn out to have played a minor role, or none at all, in the cause of the incident. Air Transat, for its part, continues to co-operate fully with the investigation and intends to respect the policy of restraint that should apply to everyone regarding questions directly related to the inquiry.'


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