Lufthansa plane towed off Mumbai airport runway

Lufthansa plane towed off Mumbai airport runway, operations resume

Mumbai, May 14 (IANS) The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport’s main runway, which was closed for almost 22 hours as a Lufthansa flight was stranded on it after suffering four tyre bursts late Friday, was cleared for normal operations around 9 p.m. on Saturday, officials said.

The Mumbai International Airport Ltd. had opened up the secondary runway for regular operations after the incident.

After the Lufthansa Airlines engineers replaced the damaged tyres of the aircraft, it was towed away to a parking bay.

Shortly thereafter, the MIAL carried out an inspection of the runway and cleared it as free of any “damage” on account of the incident.

However, officials sources said it would take another few hours before full normalcy would be restored due to backlog of both domestic and international flights.

Lufthansa Airlines said on Saturday that four of the 10 tyres of the Airbus A-330 Munich-Mumbai flight LH764 were damaged after landing and the plane could not be moved. The incident took place around 10.45 p.m.

There were 163 passengers on board who were evacuated via stairs on the runway, and the return flight LH-765 of Saturday was cancelled, hitting the flight plans of 223 passengers. The airline was making efforts to rebook them on other flights.

The incident has hit flight operations with a Cathay Pacific cargo service being diverted to Hyderabad. Some other flights were compelled to offload cargo to operate from the secondary runway which does not enable a longer take-off run.

Another three services were delayed including an Air India flight and a United Airlines Mumbai-Newark flight UA-49 with 280 people aboard was cancelled.

Emirates Airlines operated a B-777 instead of an A-380 while Singapore Airlines’s Mumbai-Singapore flight SQ423 with 427 passengers and 25 crew on board was also affected.

Singapore Airlines said passengers of the Airbus A-380 aircraft were provided with hotel accommodation and the revised departure plans would be determined after the main runway was opened for operations.

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