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Close shave at Delhi airport as wings of AI, Ethiopian Airlines planes collide

The Air India aircraft was parked while the Ethiopian Airlines plane was being pushed back by a tractor when the wings of the two planes collided.

delhi Updated: Aug 10, 2017 10:13 IST
Faizan Haider
Faizan Haider
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Delhi airport,Air India
Ethiopian flight ET 687 was bound to Addis Ababa and scheduled to depart at 2.20am.(ANI)

An Ethiopian Airline’s plane, carrying 196 passengers, hit a parked Air India aircraft at 2.25am on Wednesday at Delhi airport. The Ethiopian Airlines’ plane was parked at bay No. 87 and was being pushed back by a tractor when the incident took place.

The engines of both the aircraft were shut when the wing of the Ethiopian plane’s wing crashed into the wing of Air India plane. The Air India flight was parked at Bay No 86 while the Ethiopian plane, ET 687, was scheduled to fly to Addis Ababa at 2.20 am.

Due to collision of wings, Flight ET- 687 was cancelled and 196 passengers were de-boarded. All passengers escaped unhurt.

“Our B-767 aircraft, bearing registration number ET-AMG, while preparing for a regular Delhi –Addis Ababa flight, had a minor ground incident of wing tip collision with Air India A320 aircraft during push back at Delhi’s IGI Airport. The necessary repair work is being conducted on the aircraft as per our safety and maintenance procedures,” said the spokesperson of the Ethiopian Airlines.

“As always, safety and comfort of our customers is our first priority and we flew a substitute aircraft to continue with the flight service for our valued customers. We would like to apologize to our passengers on the flight for the inconvenience caused,” the spokesperson said.

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered an inquiry in the matter. The Air India plane has also been grounded.

On May 7, the tail of a Patna-bound Jet Airways plane clipped the starboard wing of another plane belonging to the airline when both aircraft were taxiing for take-off at the New Delhi airport on Sunday afternoon.

Flight traffic at Delhi airport is growing at around 20% each year. The number of incidents such as planes straying into each other’s paths — on the runway or mid-air have increased too. Last year, there were 32 cases of near-misses.

First Published: Aug 09, 2017 16:59 IST