Travellers across the country booked on Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines flights had a harrowing time on Saturday because two flights — one of each airline — were grounded after one aircraft hit the tail of the other.
Around 1.50 am, on Saturday, a Muscat-bound Jet Airways flight, carrying 100 passengers, hit the tail of an empty, stationary Kingfisher flight.
The incident had a major impact on domestic flight schedules of both airlines because the grounded flights are large aircrafts (Jet Airways flight a Boeing 737 and Kingfisher Airbus 321) with a capacity of more than 100 passengers. Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines together cater to nearly 40 per cent of the domestic air traffic in India.
“The grounded aircraft is used to operate at least five flights a day. Therefore, it affected our schedules,” said a Kingfisher Airlines spokesperson.
Jet Airways flights schedules also went haywire because its fleet was short of one aircraft. “Many Jet Airways flights are delayed because they had to accommodate hundreds of passengers scheduled to be flown in the grounded aircraft,” said an airport official requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media. The Jet Airways spokesperson did not respond to HT’s calls.
Airport sources said that both the grounded planes would not be airworthy for a week at least. However, it is not clear whether that will continue to affect flight schedules. “Tickets are sold well in advance so there are chances that the airlines might be forced to club some flights in the next few days,” added a senior airline official, requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.