Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Ryanair 'may have used Lebanon crash jet in Dublin last year'

Michael O'Leary says Ethiopian Airlines disaster 'has nothing to do with us'

Lebanese Red Cross workers carry the body of one of the victims of the Ethiopian Boeing 737-800 plane that crashed in the sea, into the Rafik Hariri Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010.
An Ethiopian woman, right, a relative of passengers of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed in the sea, reacts upon her arrival at Beirut airport, Lebanon, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010.
An Ethiopian Airlines plane with 90 people on board has crashed into the sea (AP)

The jet that crashed off Lebanon killing 90 people may have operated from Dublin by Ryanair.

The Irish airline confirmed that there is a strong likelihood that the Ethiopian Airlines plane was operating out of Dublin before being sold to a US bank, which in turn leased the plane to Ethiopian Airlines.

Lebanon's transportation minister said yesterday the pilot flew in the opposite direction from the path recommended by the control tower after taking off from Beirut in yesterday.

Transport minister Ghazi Aridi said the pilot initially followed the tower's guidance: “They asked him to correct his path but he did a very fast and strange turn before disappearing completely from the radar,” Mr Aridi said.

Ryanair operates more than 200 Boeing 737-800s similar to the one that crashed. A spokesperson said: “Ryanair confirms that the Boeing 737-800 series aircraft (number 29935) was sold to US bank CIT bank in May 2009 — nine months ago.”

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary said: “It's a bit like you selling your car and 11 months later the new person driving it has a crash. It had nothing to do with us.”

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