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Air Crash No Effect on Kenya Airways' Operations
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Kenya Airways said here Monday its plane which crashed in southern Cameroon over the weekend with 114 passengers on board has not affected operations.


Addressing a news conference in Nairobi, Kenya Airways Managing Director Titus Naikuni said operations were going on as usual at the airline which is one of the most successful and modern companies in the east African nation.


"At the moment, operations are going on as usual and we have not seen anything unto in terms of effects of the crash," Naikuni told journalists in Nairobi.


Kenya Airways is considered one of the safest airlines in Africa. The Douala-Nairobi flight runs several times a week, and is commonly used as an intermediary flight to Europe and the Middle East.


Naikuni said the accident which has compounded Africa's already bad record as the most dangerous continent to fly in, will not stop its expansion into West and Central Africa.


"All our staff is working together. There is a team that is looking at the operations in West Africa and all is fine at the moment," Naikuni said.


He refuted reports that the plane crash which occurred in a mangrove swamp located 20 kilometers southeast of Douala over the weekend is a bid blow to one of Kenya's corporate success stories.


Former Foreign Minister Kalonzo Musyoka had asked Kenya Airways to look at its specific West Africa route given the history of problems in that region.


Analysts said the crash has again thrown the spotlight on air safety in Africa, the continent with the world's worst record.


Aviation experts say Africa has the highest rate of air accidents in the world while accounting for just 4.5 percent of traffic.


Kenya's Business Daily said the crash was an "acid test" for Kenya Airways, which must work hard to restore confidence in its customers and shareholders.


"Though Kenya Airways is well known globally as one of the safest, most profitable and among the best airlines in Africa, The crash has opened a need to reassure its customers and its employees about its commitment to safe travel," said the newspaper.


"The company will be facing up to a new reality that could permanently alter its course for good or worse," it warned.


The latest development came as reports said none of the 114 people aboard a Kenya Airways flight survived its crash into a thick mangrove swamp over the weekend.


The six-month-old aircraft was carrying 105 passengers and nine crew, most of them African, with others from China, India, Europe and elsewhere. It had originated in Ivory Coast.


(Xinhua News Agency May 8, 2007)


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