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What to know following the russian plane crash in the sinai peninsula

What to Know Following the Russian Plane Crash In The Sinai Peninsula

Relatives of passengers of Russian Airbus-321 aircraft react at Pulkovo international airport in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

On Saturday morning flight 7K-9268, operated by a Metrojet Airbus A321, was scheduled to travel from the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt to St. Petersburg, Russia. The plane crashed only 23 minutes after taking off and all 224 passengers onboard were killed. The accident is now the second and most fatal Airbus A321 accident in history, and the worst air crash in Egypt.

While emergency crews and investigators were still rushing to the scene, Lufthansa and Air France/KLM almost immediately began rerouting planes to avoid the airspace over the Sinai Peninsula out of an abundance of caution, and other airlines have followed suit. Active insurgency in the region is causing murmurs over the possibility of the plane having been shot down, as was the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last year, which crashed after being shot by a Buk surface-to-air missile while the Boeing 777 flew over Ukraine.

It has been reported that the Metrojet crew had complained of technical difficulties, but since the investigation team on site in Sinai has been able to recover both of the plane's black boxes, the odds of discovering the definitive cause of the crash are good. Airbus was quick to issue a statement following the accident, underscoring the popularity and reliability of the A321 and the A320 family of aircraft: "By the end of September 2015, some 6,500 A320 Family aircraft were in service with over 300 operators. To date, the entire fleet has accumulated some 168 million flight hours in some 92.5 million flights."

The Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Transport has grounded Metrojet's fleet, suspending all flight operations until further notice. The crash and suspension come at a rough time for Russian aviation, as the country's second largest airline, Transaero, abruptly filed for bankruptcy and ended services just last week. Now the dissolved company's former employees are leading the care of makeshift Metrojet memorial sites, and mourning for their Russian aviation colleagues who lost their lives in the crash.

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