The AIR India Express flight to Dubai from Amritsar with 179 people, including crew members, on board was delayed by over three hours on Wednesday due to the presence of a stray dog on the runway at the Sri Guru Ram Das JI International Airport.
Confirming the development, airport director V Venkateswara Rao told HT that the dog was noticed roaming around close to the take-off zone by a cockpit crew member, who at once brought it to the notice of the captain. “The flight X-I-X after taking on the runway was getting ready to move down the runway for take-off, when the unexpected visitor was noticed,” he said.
“Thereafter, the pilot immediately brought the plane back towards the aircraft parking zone. There was no danger as such involved as the canine was noticed well in time,” Rao said.
Rao said, thereafter, the entire aircraft went through the usual security checks after the passengers had alighted and gone back to the airport terminal. “Staff members at the airport chased away the dog,” he added, while pointing out that efforts were being made to find out the spot from where the animal entered the airport zone.
“The flight which was to take off at around 3.30 pm, later took off at 7 pm for Dubai,” the airport director stated.