Operations at Chennai airport affected for over two hours

The main runway at the Chennai airport was closed for operations for over two hours early on Saturday after two front nose wheel tyres of a Kingfisher flight diverted from Tiruchi burst while landing here.

All the 17 passengers on board were safely escorted to the terminal building. Airport sources said flight IT-4343, operated using an ATR 72-500 type aircraft with a capacity of 66 passengers, departed from the Chennai airport around 10 p.m. and reached Tiruchi in an hour. Following inclement weather there, it returned to Chennai.

When the flight landed at the Chennai airport around 12.15 a.m., the tyres burst, resulting in the aircraft being stranded on the runway.

Following the incident, the Airports Authority of India officials could not allow landing or take off from the Chennai airport. Five flights in the international sector were delayed by over three hours and another from Frankfurt to Chennai of Lufthansa airlines was diverted to Bangalore.

The delayed flights included three flights bound for Singapore belonging to Singapore Airlines, Air India and Jet, besides the Jet airways flight to Brussels and Colombo.

A new pair of tyres were brought and the burst tyres replaced. The aircraft was taken to the parking bay around 2 a.m., after which the runway became operational, added the sources.