IndiGo plane skids off runway during take-off, wheels get stuck
An IndiGo flight from Jorhat, Assam, to Kolkata was reportedly canceled on Thursday after the aircraft went off the runway before takeoff and a pair of its wheels got trapped in the muddy outfield. According to the airline, while taxiing for takeoff on the runway, the aircraft's wheels drifted off the tarmac and became stuck in soft mud in a field beside the runway.
Why does this story matter?
Several Indian aircraft have reportedly experienced similar incidents in the past few days; all are under investigation by the DGCA, the aviation regulator. India is the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world, set to overtake the UK by 2024. However, the recent mishaps are seen as a setback to the growing sector, which has emerged as one of the fastest-growing industries lately.
Official statement over the development
"IndiGo flight 6E-757, operating from Jorhat to Kolkata, returned back to the bay. While taxiing out, the pilot was advised that one of the main wheels had partially run over the grass adjacent to the taxiway," the Indigo airline stated. According to an Airports Authority of India (AAI) spokesperson, the flight was canceled at 8:15 pm due to a technical issue with the aircraft.
98 onboard passengers were deboarded safely: AAI
"There were 98 passengers on board. All passengers deboarded and are safe," the AAI official stated. A journalist shared a photo on Twitter of the airplane, which had reportedly gone off the runway and one of its wheels had become trapped in the thick grassy outfield. "The flight was scheduled to depart at 2.20 pm but the flight delayed after the incident," she highlighted.
Here's the tweet of the local journalist over the issue
Indigo's response to the tweet
IndiGo responded to his post by stating, "Sir, we're concerned to hear this and raising this right away with the concerned team. Please share the PNR via DM for the same. We hope you're well and comfortably traveled to your destination."
Fliers rebuke SpiceJet, IndiGo for poor service: Survey
To recall, over 79% of the 15,000 airline passengers polled by LocalCircles in a May 2022 survey stated that Indian operators have been compromising customer comfort following the COVID-19 pandemic. Spicejet topped the list of airlines whose service was regarded as the poorest, followed by IndiGo, the country's largest airline. Flight delays, poor in-flight service, and ineffective boarding processes were among the complaints received.
DGCA orders 'snag-prone' SpiceJet to run only 50% flights
Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday directed the private airline SpiceJet to operate only 50 percent of its flights for eight weeks. The move comes following a series of snags that interrupted its flight operations and forced emergency landings. The aviation regulator ordered this after various spot checks, inspections, and SpiceJet's response to the show cause notice, NDTV reported.
How do experts explain the situation?
According to Ajay Awtaney, editor of the aviation website LiveFromALounge, both IndiGo and Spicejet have been experiencing major staff shortages and unhappy workers. While IndiGo cut off 10% of its workforce in 2020, SpiceJet withheld wages, making it difficult for them to fully recover, Awtaney earlier stated. Experienced crews of these airlines are also being poached—by upstart carriers Akasa Air and Jet Airways—he added.