When the world’s biggest passenger aircraft landed at Delhi airport on Thursday, it received a welcome hard to find in any other international airport — a stray dog on the tarmac.
The Airbus A380, which was brought by Emirates Airlines, tested the capability of Indira Gandhi International Airport’s new Terminal 3 to handle the super jumbo that can seat up to 850 passengers.
However, before the aircraft could arrive and dock at one of the aerobridges of Terminal 3, specially built to handle the aircraft, a dog strayed on to the apron area of the terminal. The dog came only a few minutes before the plane arrived for a water cannon salute. The incident delayed the docking of the plane with the aerobridge by half an hour.
The dog was chased away just before the aircraft reached the designated aerobridge. In a similar incident, a dog had strayed on the new runway of IGI airport seconds before the first passenger flight could land on the runway.
Troubles for the super jumbo, however, had begun in the air itself.
The flight was scheduled to land at 2:50 pm at runway 29 but the landing was delayed by 45 minutes as the pilot decided to take off again and make a ‘go around’ just when the aircraft was about to land.
Airport sources said due to heavy rain and bad weather, the pilot decided to go around. The aircraft hovered above the airport for more than 30 minutes before landing.
“The aircraft had almost touched down on the runway and everyone started clapping when it took off again,” said a passenger who was travelling from Dubai to Delhi in the flight.