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ValuJet CEO criticizes media 'rush to judgment'

Jordan

May 16, 1996
Web posted at: 8:45 p.m. EDT

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- ValuJet President Lewis Jordan vowed Thursday that his discount airline would recover from the bad publicity surrounding last Saturday's crash of a DC-9 in the Florida Everglades.

Jordan blamed the news media for misinformation and "a rush to judgment," which, he said, has created a hysteria about the safety of ValuJet flights.

"ValuJet is alive," Jordan said. "ValuJet is well and financially strong. We will be working to restore the public confidence and I am 100 percent confident, when all the facts are known, that we will be able to do that very, very effectively," Jordan said. (275K AIFF or WAV sound)

Jordan said that millions of Americans who are able to travel by air because of ValuJet's low fares could not fly without the airline, since ticket prices would jump 60 percent.

Jordan said he welcomed the increased FAA inspections now under way, because they will help restore public confidence in ValuJet, although it will mean some flight delays and cancellations.

"As part of restoring the confidence in ValuJet Airlines ... we are more than happy to take those disruptions," Jordan said.

He said because of the increased scrutiny, some planes are being grounded that ordinarily wouldn't.

Jordan said a ValuJet plane was grounded in Atlanta Thursday morning because of visible vapors from a recently installed air conditioning system. The plane was safe, he said, but was replaced because of public perception.

"Even if we know for absolute certainty what the cause of the vapor is, we right now are not going to put the traveling public in the position where they have to worry," he said.

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