AHMEDABAD: Some 77 passengers aboard a Varanasi-Ahmedabad flight on Monday morning breathed a sigh of relief when their aircraft landed at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport in Ahmedabad.
According to well-placed sources in the Airports Authority of India (AAI), a tyre of the aircraft burst during take-off at Varanasi and thus an emergency landing had to be made in Ahmedabad.
The flight, SG-972, was operated by low-cost carrier, SpiceJet. Describing the sequence of events, a SpiceJet spokesperson said, “SpiceJet Boeing B737 aircraft operated SG-972 (Varanasi-Ahmedabad). After departure, ATC Varanasi notified the pilot about a piece of tyre found on the runway. Since no abnormality was observed as such, the flight continued to destination.”
The aircraft left Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport in Varanasi at 9.10am. Soon after, the SVPI airport authorities were informed about the need for an emergency landing. “The flight landed at the city airport at 11.04am on Monday; airport authorities followed the emergency procedures and had all precautions in place for the landing,” confirmed a source in the AAI.
“The aircraft landed safely at Ahmedabad. During post flight walk-around inspection, the main wheel No. 3 tyre was found deflated,” the SpiceJet spokesperson said.
Since an emergency landing had to be facilitated for SG-972, departure of four more flights, operated by various airlines also got delayed. These include flights to Nashik, Kochi, Delhi and Hubli.
A passenger aboard Kochi-bound flight, 6E-667, said, “The flight was about to take off at 11.15am and we had already begun taxiing towards the runway. However, the flight was suddenly halted. After about 15 minutes, it was announced that a flight had to make an emergency landing due to which our departure was delayed. Our flight finally departed around 11.40am.”
A source confirmed that the Nashik-bound flight was also delayed due to the incident. “The departure of two flights – 6E-2044 to Delhi and 6E-5993 to Hubli – operated by IndiGo Airlines were delayed by about 20 minutes each,” confirmed a well-placed source.