A Delhi-bound Spicejet flight carrying 189 passengers returned to the Mumbai airport an hour after it took off on Wednesday morning.
About 70 nautical miles away from Mumbai, the pilot learnt that the plane’s air conditioner was not working. The pressurisation failure made breathing difficult for passengers.
The pilot reported the matter to the air traffic control (ATC) in Mumbai and turned around. An airline spokesperson confirmed the incident.
“The Mumbai-Delhi flight SG 114 (SGB) did an air turn back on account of a mechanical issue that constrained the pilot to bring the flight back to Mumbai. This was done for the safety of the passengers. Alternate arrangements are being made for the passengers to reach their destination,” the spokesperson said.
In contrast to initial concerns the flight did not make an emergency landing.
Closer to touchdown the pilot told the ATC that the situation is under control and they would not need assistance. Fire tenders, ambulances and airport safety officers cordon off the tarmac during an emergency landing. None of that was needed in this case. Technical snags due to AC failures are common, said an airport official.