Stuck IAF aircraft on runway delays flights

ST CORRESPONDENT
Saturday, 19 January 2019

The passengers stuck inside the terminal building flooded social media requesting the AAI and Ministry of Defence to interfere in the matter.

PUNE: On Friday morning, thousands of passengers were stuck at Pune airport and hundreds of them mid-air for almost two hours after an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft was stuck on the middle of the runway. The Jet Airways flight coming from Chennai to Pune was diverted to Mumbai with the help of reserve fuel in the aircraft.

The passengers stuck inside the terminal building flooded social media and microblogging sites requesting the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Ministry of Defence to interfere in the matter. According to airport sources, the runway was closed from 11.20 am to 12.40 pm. 

After hovering over Pune for almost an hour, flight AI 813 from Chandigarh landed at Pune with very little fuel left. The airport runway was inoperative because a defence aircraft was struck. “Learnt an important lesson today. Life hangs by a thread,” Devinder Sharma, tweeted after he arrived from Air India flight AI 813 from Chandigarh.

Another flier Jaideep Singh said, “Hearing that Pune runway is closed? And flights delayed?”  Passenger Rahul Duggal tweeted, “Jet Airways flight from Chennai has been redirected to Mumbai.”

Chennai Airport’s official twitter handle, tweeted Kind attn. passengers!! @IndiGo 6E 311 scheduled to depart to Pune (MAA-PNQ) @1140 hrs is rescheduled to 1320 hrs due to technical issue at Pune Airport. Passengers are requested to check with @IndiGo6E for update.

Pune Airport Director Ajay Kumar said, “IAF had asked us to shut domestic operations from the airport for an hour until the technical glitch in one of its aircraft that had happened in the morning was resolved.” This situation lead to more than six delays in the arrival as well as departure, while one aircraft had to be diverted to Mumbai, informed Kumar.

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