Henan Province has ordered its namesake airline to change its name after it suffered China’s worst civil aviation disaster in nearly six years, saying that the accident has tarnished the province’s reputation.
A Henan Airlines passenger jet crashed on Tuesday while trying to land at night at a small airport in the country’s northeast, killing 42 people. Officials have yet to announce the cause of the crash, but initial probes and survivors’ accounts indicate the plane missed the runway and crashed on the ground.
The Henan Administration for Industry and Commerce, in an announcement posted late on Friday on its Web site, said the decision to revoke permission to use the provincial name for the airline was taken because the name tarnished the province’s image.
Henan had given special permission to the carrier to use the name when it moved its headquarters there last year.
But in the wake of the accident, the airline’s name had “cast an extremely adverse impact” on the province, the announcement said.
The crash by the Brazilian-made Embraer 190 plane also injured 54, including 17 who are in critical condition, the official Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.
China has announced it will inspect airline safety measures nationwide in the wake of the crash.
China’s aviation industry has expanded rapidly in recent years and regulators have struggled to keep up.
Airports have proliferated, as have small regional airlines, reaching into remote cities such as Yichun, which is 150km from the Russian border, and that are eager to develop tourism and other industries in an effort to catch up with the country’s economic boom.
Xinhua quoted an official with China aviation body as saying an investigation into the crash could take a long time.
“The probe involves every aspect of the jet — its manufacturer, operator, pilot, crew, maintenance record as well as the air traffic management and airport authorities,” Li Jian (李健), vice director of the General Administration of Civil Aviation, was quoted as saying.