An alternate aircraft of Indian budget carrier SpiceJet flew to Dubai from Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport on Tuesday night, ending a wait of nearly 11 hours for 138 passengers who got stranded here after taking off from New Delhi in the morning.
SpiceJet’s Delhi-Dubai flight was diverted to Karachi as the fuel indicator started malfunctioning. The Boeing 737 Max aircraft made an emergency landing at Karachi airport at around 9:15 am after the Pakistani Civil Aviation Authorities permitted the Indian plane to land at the Jinnah International Airport on humanitarian grounds.
An official of the Civil Aviation Authority said the Indian carrier had sent an alternate aircraft SG 9911 from Mumbai to take the passengers to Dubai which took off at around 9:20 pm.
The official said engineers of Pakistan International Airlines worked with the Spice Jet crew to locate and rectify the technical fault in the aircraft. All the passengers were shifted to the transit lounge and provided all hospitality including food and refreshments.
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“Apparently there was and is a problem with the aircraft’s light indicator and it couldn’t be repaired immediately and it didn’t get clearance from the engineers so another aircraft was sent from Mumbai,” he said.
In March last year, an Indigo Indian Airlines flight also had to make an emergency landing at the Karachi airport after a passenger complained of chest pain and fell ill.
The Sharjah-Lucknow flight later left for its destination but doctors who came on board couldn’t save the passenger who passed away from a cardiac arrest.
Hours after SpiceJet’s Delhi-Dubai flight suffered a mid-air malfunction, cracks developed on the windshield of another plane of the budget carrier at a height of 23,000 feet forcing a priority landing in Mumbai in a double whammy for the airline.
The two episodes on a single day have taken the total number of technical malfunction incidents involving SpiceJet aircraft to seven in the last 17 days.