Lucky escape for 89 flyers as plane skids

July 11, 2018 12:00 am | Updated 04:12 am IST - Mumbai

Eighty-nine passengers on board an Air India Express flight from Vijaywada had a narrow escape on Tuesday afternoon, after the aircraft overshot the runway while landing in heavy rain at the Mumbai airport.

The Boeing 737, operating as flight IX-213 from Vijayawada to Mumbai, landed on secondary Runway 14 at 2.51 p.m. Airport officials said main Runway 27 was shut for periodic maintenance.

The aircraft missed its exit at Rapid Exitway Echo 1. “The aircraft stopped 10 feet beyond the runway end on the paved stopway,” an Air India Express spokesperson said. The airline said the plane had touched down correctly and used maximum braking, but due to the slippery conditions caused by heavy rain, it could halt only at the stopway.

Airline officials said there was no damage to the aircraft or airport property, and no passenger was hurt. The plane taxied on its own power to the parking bay.

Last September, a SpiceJet aircraft carrying 183 passengers had overshot the runway and skidded into the unpaved surface due to wet conditions.

Following Tuesday’s incident, maintenance work on the main runway was called off and flights were routed to it. This led to delays as many incoming flights had to be put on a holding pattern. “There was an average 25-minute delay in landings and take-offs, while no cancellations or diversions were reported,” a Mumbai International Airport Ltd spokesperson said.

However, airport and airline monitoring website flightradar24 said 163 arrivals were delayed and two incoming flights cancelled. Similarly, 302 departures were delayed and three outgoing flights cancelled.

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