Over 200 workers' and engineers' efforts finally pay off as air traffic resumes after Turkish Airlines plane is towed away
After tiring efforts by salvagers, the main runway at Mumbai airport was reopened on Monday morning much to the relief of officials and frequent flyers.
Over 70 hours after the Turkish Airways plane skidded off the runway and into the slush on Friday at 4.13 am, engineers towed away the plane off the runway on Monday morning at 1.17 am after fighting the continuous downpour.
Mumbai airport's main runaway re-opened for air traffic yesterday
An airport official said that at 7 am last morning, the runway was handed over to Air Traffic Control and flight operations resumed as scheduled. Meanwhile, the plane has been taken by Air India to a workshop for repairs.
Over 200 workers and engineers from L&T, Air India, MIAL and Turkish Airways worked over the weekend to extricate the plane from the mud.
Ashish Pawar, an L&T engineer, who was part of the salvage operation said, "When the aircraft was removed in the morning, we were all joyous as our efforts had finally paid off.
Several deadlines had been missed and after working under pressure from authorities above, we can finally rest as our hard work has borne fruit."
Speaking about the losses the airport has suffered owing to the closure of the runway, a MIAL spokesperson said, "Due to the diversions and delays, the airport has incurred losses of more than $ 25 million."
With the main runway reopening, passengers heaved a sigh of relief. Murli Prasad, a businessman, said, "I am frequent flier and the runway reopening is a good sign."
Pushpa Khanna, on her way to France, said, "With the runway shut down, there were lots of delays that could have ruined my trip."
Saturday 9.30 am: Officials and labourers unloaded the cargo to reduce the weight of the plane.
Sunday 3:30 pm: A ramp was made in the slush towards the nose-end of the plane
Sunday 5:00 pm: Soil around the wheels was dug to help dislodge the mud in which it was stuck. About 30 labourers worked on it.
Sunday 8 pm: Two airbags, once inflated covering the entire front bottom of the plane, were used to dislodge the plane and help lift it off the ground.
Monday 1 am: Ropes were attached to the plane's undercarriage connecting it to a towing vehicle, which pulled it onto the runway.
No of workers and engineers from L& T, Air India, MIAL and Turkish Airways worked over the weekend to extricate the plane from the mud
Estimated losses incurred by the airport due to the diversions and delays