Tharoor calls Emirates aircraft 'visibly inferior', sparks controversy

UAE-INDIA-AVIATION-ACCIDENT-EMIRATES Indian passengers, who were aboard the Emirates plane that caught fire during a crash-landing, wait for their flight at the departures hall at Dubai airport | AFP

A day after an Emirates flight crash-landed and caught fire at Dubai International Airport, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor courted controversy on Thursday for calling the aircraft “visibly inferior”.

Over 300 people on board the Thiruvananthapuram-Dubai Boeing 777 EK521 flight had a miraculous escape after the aircraft made a violent landing at Dubai airport on Wednesday. The 282 passengers, including 226 Indians, and 18 crew members were evacuated safely just a couple of minutes before the flight caught fire. One firefighter was killed later while trying to extinguish the fire.

The Thiruvananthapuram MP took to Facebook to criticise the Dubai-based airlines for using "inferior" aircraft on the India route. “I have taken flights on this route many times myself and have been concerned about the age and condition of the aircraft Emirates seems to use on this sector. These are visibly inferior to the aircraft on Emirates' European sectors, for example,” said Tharoor.

He said a world-class airline with a reputation to preserve cannot afford to compromise on quality.

Tharoor, a former under secretary of the United Nations, called for a probe into the accident and also urged the airlines to review the quality of their flights.

Tharoor's Facebook post has drawn mixed reactions on social media with several people sharing similar experience with Emirates, while an almost equal number of people disagreeing with the MP and appreciating the airlines's rescue operation.

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Topics : #accident | #air crash

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