NEW DELHI: An Air Indiaplane, with 130 passengers onboard, made an emergency at Nawabshah airport in Pakistan early on Monday after the pilot observed a serious technical glitch, while the aircraft was flying over Pakistani airspace.
Air India flight number AI940 was on its way from Abu Dhabi to Delhi when the pilot contacted Pakistani authorities and sought permission for an emergency landing after detecting a problem with the hydraulic system.
The pilot was granted permission to land the aircraft at the Nawabshah Airport in SIndh province, southern Pakistan. Subsequently, the plane landed at 3.37 am under emergency conditions.
As per unconfirmed reports, all three hydraulic systems of the Airbus 319 had failed- one of the rarest of rare incidents in modern jets like the A-320 family of jets – forcing the pilot to land the plane manually.
All 130 passengers and the crew are safe and are inside the aircraft. The stranded passengers were offered lounge facilities by the airport officials but the pilot decided against de-boarding, apparently over security concerns. Moreover, the facilities available at the airport are also limited.
The hydraulic glitch is said to be serious in nature. A relief plane with a team of engineers will leave Delhi soon. The plane may also be used to bring back the stranded passengers and crew to India.
It was also possible that the private Shaheen airline, which has a tie-up with Air India, could provide an aircraft to ferry the passengers and crew to the nearest Indian airport, an AI spokersman said.
AI940 was originally scheduled to arrive at the Indira Gandhi International airport at 5.15 am. Nawabshah district was renamed as Shaheed Benazirabad Airport in 2008 in honour of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto. The city lies 220 kilometres north east of Karachi.