The left wing of a moving Jet Airways aeroplane with more than 100 passengers hit the tail of an empty, stationary Kingfisher aircraft very early on Saturday morning.
No one was hurt, but the aviation regulator called it a “serious incident” and suspended one engineer and two ground staff working with Jet Airways, pending a more thorough investigation.
“The ground technical staff did not follow the standard operating procedure,” said a statement from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, which has conducted a preliminary inquiry. Both planes were initially parked seven metres apart, parallel to one another in adjacent bays. When the Jet aircraft was being pulled back by a tow tractor and began turning in order to start taxiing, the tip of its left wing hit the Kingfisher aircraft’s left horizontal stabiliser, commonly called the tail.
The Jet plane was headed to Muscat while the Kingfisher aircraft was undergoing routine maintenance before the next take-off.
The incident, which took place at 1.50 am on Saturday, delayed passengers booked on other Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines flights on Saturday.
Both aircraft were grounded. A Jet spokesperson said that the airline had flown its passengers to Muscat in another aircraft.
The Jet spokesperson declined to comment on the extent of damage to its aircraft. The spokesperson for Kingfisher said an engineer was evaluating the damage to its plane, but airport sources said it was extensive. He also said its aircraft was parked in the correct position.