New Delhi, Jul 16, 2019 : A Vistara flight from Mumbai to Delhi with 153 on board ended up in a precarious situation on Monday when it was diverted to Lucknow and landed with very low fuel levels as to NDTV.
Vistara Airlines has told NDTV that the flight could have managed only 10 more minutes in the air before running out of fuel. The aircraft had barely 300 kg of fuel left when it touched down at Lucknow airport. With the fuel situation onboard increasingly critical, the pilots declared a "Fuel Mayday", indicating the seriousness of their situation to the Air Traffic Control.
Aviation experts have told NDTV that a normal Airbus A-320 NEO flight on the Mumbai-Delhi sector lands with enough fuel for approximately 60 extra minutes of flight. This extra fuel carried onboard is used if the aircraft has to divert to alternate airports.
On this occasion, the A-320 NEO aircraft was unable to land at the Delhi airport due to poor weather conditions and was diverted to Lucknow, but visibility suddenly dropped over Lucknow and the pilots on board considered alternate airfields including Kanpur and Allahabad.
According to the airline , "En route Prayagraj, Lucknow ATC informed the crew that the weather in Lucknow had improved significantly following which the crew decided to return to Lucknow due to better passenger and aircraft support."
The airline says they were carrying "excess fuel over and above the required Flight Plan Fuel."
The civil aviation watchdog, DGCA, has grounded a Vistara pilot over the incident, news agency ANI has reported.