Gulf Air crash victims to sue airline and Airbus in France


Lawyers for Gulf Air crash victims' families are to file suit against the airline and plane manufacturer Airbus Industrie.

French attorney R Martin-Chico said in Bahrain that his firm would soon file a civil liability suit in a French court.

It will charge that Bahraini pilot Ihsan Shakeeb was guilty of "wrongful misconduct" and will challenge the engineering design of the Airbus A320.

Gulf Air Flight 072 en route from Cairo crashed just off Muharraq on August 23 last year, killing all 135 passengers and eight crew aboard.

Martin-Chico and Associates has signed agreements to represent the family members of around half the crash victims.

Clients include the legal heirs to all but one of the Bahraini victims, as well the families of many of the Egyptian and other GCC victims, said Martin-Chico.

He could not provide a litigation timetable, but noted he would likely file his writ in civil court in Toulouse, which is the headquarters for Airbus Industrie.

He and associate, aviation attorney specialist Carlos Villacorta Salis from Madrid, were in Bahrain last month to review the case with members of the Gulf Air Flight 072 Family Committee.

The organisation represents the families of the 36 Bahrainis who died in the disaster.

Martin-Chico said his team of aviation experts had reviewed the factual report and that it did not satisfactorily address several serious issues.