Mumbai airport’s main runway remains shut after aLufthansa Airbus A330 aircraft suffered a tyre burst on Friday night. Though the secondary runway is in use, the incident resulted in delays and diversions of flights.
The incident took place after the Lufthansa aircraft from Munich carrying 163 passengers touched down at Mumbai airport at around 10:45 pm. Four tyres of the aircraft’s landing gear were damaged and it was unable to vacate the runway.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is gathering information on the incident.
The incident resulted in delays and diversions. A Cathay Pacific cargo aircraft was diverted to Hyderabad. At least three flights were hit, including those of Singapore Airlines(Mumbai-Singapore), Air India and United Airlines (Mumbai-Newark). The Newark-bound flights are 15 hour non stop flights and require a longer take off run which is not available on the secondary runway. Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380 aircraft do not use the secondary runway. A few other flights to Europe had to off-load cargo in order to operate from the secondary runway.
In a statement, Lufthansa said, “Four tyres of the aircraft of flight LH764 from Munich to Mumbai had been damaged. The plane could not be moved from runway for the time being. There were 163 passengers on board the Airbus A330. They had to leave the plane via stairs, positioned on the runway. The plane will be removed from the runway after the assembly of four new tyres. Flight LH765 of May 14 had to be cancelled and 223 passengers were affected. Lufthansa is trying to rebook them on other flights.”
Singapore Airlines said, “Flight SQ423, an Airbus A380 bound for Singapore from Mumbai on May 13, is delayed in Mumbai due to a temporary runway closure. There were 427 passengers and 25 crew on board. Passengers have been provided with hotel accommodation and a revised departure time will be determined when the runway is reopened by the authorities.”