28/02/2011

Crash-Hit Airline Grounds Cork Flights

Manx2 has ended its service between Belfast and Cork just over a fortnight after one of its flights crashed, killing six people.

The company said it had carried out a review following the February 10 tragedy and would only continue to operate the route for the another two weeks.

Six died and six others were injured when the Manx2 plane crashed on landing at Cork Airport in thick fog.

The victims included Brendan McAleese, 39, a Co Tyrone businessman and a cousin of Dr Martin McAleese, husband of Ireland's President.
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Pat Cullinan, 45, a partner in leading accountancy firm KPMG in Belfast, also died along with Spanish pilot Jordi Sola Lopez, 31; co-pilot Andrew Cantle, 27, from York; 49-year-old businessman Richard Noble, who was originally from Derbyshire but lived in Northern Ireland, and Captain Michael Evans, 51, deputy harbour master in Belfast.

A preliminary report from air accident investigators is expected in early March. It is believed the plane touched down and a wing clipped the runway before the craft flipped over and landed on grass catching fire.

Manx2 said it would give full refunds to anyone booked to travel the route from March 14 on. All other flights including from Belfast to Blackpool, Isle of Man and Anglesey will continue as scheduled, the company said.

(BMcC/GK)

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