TAIPEI (AFP) – Taiwan’s TransAsia Airways Sunday announced more flight cancellations this week as pilots were recalled for retraining following its second plane crash in seven months.
The airline had said Saturday that 90 flights – all domestic – would be cancelled by Monday.
“We’re scheduled to cancel another 32 flights on Tuesday as pilots are recalled for the retraining programme,” a spokeswoman said.
She said more of the airline’s domestic flights could be hit if the tests for all its 71 ATR pilots, which began Saturday, could not be completed in four days as scheduled.
The Civil Aeronautics Administration on Friday ordered the retraining after it emerged that pilots may have inexplicably shut off one of the two turboprop engines before Flight GE235 went down last Wednesday.
Pilots who fail the tests will be grounded immediately and indefinitely pending further training.
The TransAsia ATR 72-600 plane, en route from the capital to the offshore island of Kinmen, plunged into a river in Taipei with 53 passengers and five crew members on board shortly after take-off.
Forty people were confirmed killed, 15 survived and three are still missing.
Dramatic amateur footage showed it hitting a road as it banked steeply away from buildings and into the Keelung River, leaving a trail of debris including a smashed taxi. On Sunday more than 160 divers searched the chill waters for the three who remain missing. The airline said it has scheduled four memorial services for the victims.
Aviation authorities have said TransAsia Airways failed to meet around a third of the regulatory requirements imposed after another fatal crash in Taiwan’s western Penghu islands in July that killed 48 people.