Lufthansa Aircraft Gets Stuck And Blocks Mumbai Runway For A Full Day After Four Tires Burst


A Lufthansa flight arriving from Munich blew four tires upon landing at India’s Mumbai International Airport on Saturday, blocking the runway for an entire day after the aircraft couldn’t be moved.

Lufthansa MumbaiThe incident impacted operations at Mumbai to a high degree after a shorter secondary runway was the only one left in operation forcing airlines to cancel flights and change equipment.

Mumbai Airport is very restricted in terms of space and would need urgent expansion, however as so often there are political problems involved due to a large amount of people who would be displaced in order to build a new runway. It’s highly unusual that an airport of the size of Mumbai only has one runway available that is able to handle large and heavy aircraft.

The Times of India had the story on the Lufthansa incident (access here).

The main runway at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here was closed for operations after a Lufthansa flight suffered four tyre bursts late on Friday, officials said here on Saturday.

The Mumbai International Airport Ltd. has opened up the secondary runway for regular operations after the incident which led to flight delays or diversions as the main runway remained shut for nearly 15 hours till 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Officials were unsure when it would be reopened even as the Lufthansa Airlines officials were busy replacing the damaged tyres of the aircraft stranded on the main runway. Four tyres of the landing gear of Airbus A-330 Munich-Mumbai flight LH764 were damaged after landing and the plane could not be moved. The incident took place around 10.45 p.m., the Lufthansa Airlines said in a statement on Saturday.

Doing a repair of this magnitude in the dark on the Mumbai runway certainly isn’t an easy task even if all the equipment and spare parts are available.

There were 163 passengers on board who were evacuated via stairs on the runway, and the return flight LH-765 of Saturday was cancelled, hitting the flight plans of 223 passengers. The airline was making efforts to rebook them on other flights. …

Another three services were delayed including an Air India flight and a United Airlines Mumbai-Newark flight. Emirates Airlines operated a B-777 instead of an A-380 while a Mumbai-Singapore flight SQ423 of Singapore Airlines with 427 passengers and 25 crew on board was also affected.

Singapore Airlines said passengers of the Airbus A-380 aircraft were provided with hotel accommodation and the revised departure plans of the flight would be determined after the main runway was opened for operations.
The passengers must be pretty upset about this all considering the long delays and cancellations involved.
The run reopened again after almost a full day of blockade by the Lufthansa A330 and fortunately nobody was injured during the entire incident. The financial impact for the airlines was most likely significant especially the Singapore Airlines A380 which needed everybody accommodated in a hotel.

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