New Delhi, Feb 17, 2015 (PTI): As many as 194 people including seven crew members on board an Air India flight from Mangalore had a lucky escape after the long tail portion of the aircraft scraped the runway during touchdown at the Mumbai Airport.
Confirming the incident, which occurred last Sunday, an Air India spokesperson said the flight crew members have been de-rostered and the DGCA is carrying out investigation to ascertain the facts.
"Both the pilots have been de-rostered and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has already initiated its probe into the incident," the spokesperson said.
Air India is also conducting an internal probe and based on its report and the findings of the DGCA, "we will take remedial measures," the spokesperson said.
The airline has also grounded the aircraft, an Airbus 321, after the incident.
Passengers of the national carrier have of late been suffering due to operational issues facing the airline, which is surviving on a Rs 30,000-crore government’s bailout package.
Sources say that the on-time performance of the carrier is currently the lowest among all domestic airlines with most of Air India flights getting delayed between 1-9 hours in the past one week.
Last week, scores of Indian cricket team fans, who were going to watch the India-Pakistan cricket match at Sydney, could not witness the historic win of their team after the Air India delayed its flight by 10 hours due to non-availability of crew.
This is notwithstanding the government’s instructions to Air India to cut salary of its employees, who are found responsible for any delay in operations.
Vivek Gautam, a passenger who was on the flight, tweeted, "15th February is my new birthday. AI 680 gave all the experience of a crash while landing and even the pilot lost control for a few seconds." Those on the flight later gathered at the office of the Air India duty manager seeking an explanation, but the official was not at his desk.