An EgyptAir Cargo aircraft came close to colliding with an Air France over Belgium on 1st January, according to reports from the air accident investigation agencies in Belgium (AAIU) and France (BEA).
EgyptAir Cargo flight MSX541, an Airbus A300B4-622R(F) (SU-GAY) departed from Oostende Airport, Belgium, at 12:40 hours local time and initiated a climb to FL210.
At the same time, Air France flight AF1640, an Airbus A320 (F-GKXN), was en route between Paris-Charles de Gaulle, France and Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport, Netherlands. The flight was maintaining FL220 over Belgium.
At 12:42 MSX541 was re-cleared to climb to FL210, which was read back correctly. Three minutes later the flight was instructed to maintain FL210 upon reaching, combined with information that there was crossing traffic, the A320, above from right to left. The readback from MSX541 of maintaining FL210 was correct.
AF1640 was also advised about the climbing EgyptAir aircraft.
Approaching FL210, MSX541 reported that it was following a resolution advisory (RA) from the traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS). The aircraft was observed climbing through the cleared level. The TCAS advisory was showing "LVL" (level) and the Air France TCAS showed "CLB" (Climb).
According to the reports, separation between the two aircraft at the closest point was approximately 0.74NM horizontal / 300ft vertical, well below the required 5NM / 1,000ft.
The incident, classified as “serious”, comes as investigators continue to seek the cause of a previous accident involving EgyptAir — flight MS804 off the coast of Egypt in May 2016, in which 66 people lost their lives.