A330 Airlines Distance Themselves From Sensors

Airlines attempt to distance themselves from instruments seen as a possible factor in Air France accident.

"Until these installations are complete, we are communicating with our flight crews to reiterate the correct procedures to be used in the event of unreliable airspeed indications," Talton said.

Delta subsidiary Northwest Airlines also has installed new Pitot tubes on its A319/320 aircraft, Talton said.

Delta, the world's largest airline operator, owns 11 A330-200s and 21 A330-300s. It owns or leases 57 A319-100s and 69 A320-200s.

Tempe, AZ-based US Airways, the other major U.S. A330 operator, has begun replacing the Pitot tube component on its A330s out of an abundance of caution, spokeswoman Michelle Mohr said, though she declined to identify the manufacturer. Nine of the carrier's 11 A330s are in regular service.

In Brazil, the private Agencia Estado news agency said the country's largest airline, TAM Linhas Aeras SA, has already replaced the Pitot tubes on its Airbus jets. TAM made the replacements after a 2007 recommendation from Airbus, Chief Executive David Barboni told Agencia Estado.

Brazil's air force, meanwhile, said that technicians would replace the Pitot tubes on an Airbus A319 used by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva because of a recommendation from the jet's manufacturer more than a month before the Air France crash.

Air force Col. Henry Munhoz said the tubes will be replaced during regular maintenance now under way, but insisted the work was not being performed because of the crash.

About 70 airlines operate versions of the 600 twin-engined A330s in use around the world.

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