All operations to remove the airline failed, even the 40 kg airbag which everyone hoped would do the trick
While deadlines kept being flouted on Saturday, the Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (MIAL), confirmed late on Saturday that by Sunday 8 am, the Airbus 340-300 Turkish aircraft would be removed and the runway opened.
Throughout Saturday, the MIAL, along with the national carrier Air India and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) attempted in vain to remove the aircraft.
A senior DGCA official who is monitoring the operation to remove the aircraft said, "Due to continuous rain and damage done to the aircraft, the operation has taken so long."
He added, "The front part of the aircraft, including the nose and the wheel have gone five to six feet deep into the mud.
Apart from this there is a heavy cargo load on the aircraft because of which the middle portion of the aircraft is also badly damaged. Though the passenger load was less the cargo load on this aircraft was high"
In an official statement, MIAL spokesperson Anindita Sinha said, "In the midst of continuous rain and gusty wind, recovery work on the flight is still being carried out.
About a total of 200 manual labourers and 34 engineers are assisting in the ongoing operation."
Earlier on Saturday, the operation workers tried connecting a 40 kg airbag to lift the plane. On Friday, airport officials expected the airbag to do the trick.
However, the operation failed. Air India, which is assisting the operation, is the only company to have this AITA-approved recovery kit.
A senior official from DGCA said that the incident caused not only inconvenience to passengers but also heavy losses to the airlines. He claimed that the foreign airline will be penalised, once the aircraft is removed.
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