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Chinese airline vows to improve crew's English after alleged "unauthorized takeoff" in Japan


19:49, November 30, 2011

SHANGHAI, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines said Wednesday it will strengthen its pilots' English language competence two days after one of its flights was accused of taking off without clearance in Japan.

A spokesman with the airline said the company will further regulate the flight crew's ability to communicate in English in order to eliminate communication barriers between pilots and foreign air traffic controllers during international flight operations, but he did not mention whether the alleged unauthorized takeoff was caused by communication misunderstandings.

The airline will fully cooperate with Japanese aviation authorities to investigate the case, said the spokesman.

On Monday, an Airbus A330-200 aircraft performing flight MU516 from Osaka to Shanghai reportedly took off at about 1:45 p.m. without clearance from the tower controllers at the Kansai International Airport in Osaka, according to Japanese state media.

Although no accident occurred, Japan's Ministry of Transport has launched an investigation as such a flight operation is suspected to have violated aviation law.


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