Plane that was to land in city takes U-turn

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTMETRO - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

MUM­BAI:AN Iran Air flight from Tehran car­ry­ing 200 pas­sen­gers aborted its in­tended land­ing in Mum­bai, even af­ter de­scend­ing by 6,000 feet, and flew back to the ori­gin coun­try ow­ing to un­favourable con­di­tions in the city.

Flight IR 810 cir­cled in the Mum­bai airspace for around an hour be­fore the pi­lots de­cided to re­turn to land at an air­port in Zahedan, south­east­ern Iran. Af­ter land­ing in Mum­bai, the flight was sched­uled to de­part as IR 811 at 1.30pm. As a re­sult, around 150 pas­sen­gers that were to board IR 811 were stranded at the de­par­ture area at the in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nal T2

An of­fi­cial from Iran Air’s Mum­bai of­fice said that the flight that had taken off around 7.30am (lo­cal time) from Tehran and landed around 5pm (IST). “The air­craft is now ex­pected to land in Mum­bai around 2am, af­ter which the pas­sen­gers will be able to fly to Tehran,” said the of­fi­cial. “All pas­sen­gers are be­ing given lunch, tea and din­ner.”

Air­port of­fi­cials in Mum­bai found the pi­lot’s de­ci­sion to re­turn to Tehran un­usual, as he could have landed the air­craft at an air­port close to Mum­bai.

An air­port of­fi­cial said, “Airlines de­clare and file the name of an air­port apart from the des­ti­na­tion air­port. This is done so that the pi­lot can land at the al­ter­na­tive air­port listed in case of an emer­gency at the des­ti­na­tion air­port.”

Ac­cord­ing to air traf­fic con­trol (ATC) of­fi­cers, the air­line had listed an Ira­nian air­port as their al­ter­nate air­port to land in case of any emer­gency sit­u­a­tion. A tweet by Iran Repub­lic News Agency (IRNA) read, “Iran Air plane which was en route to Mum­bai from Tehran, was forced to make emer­gency land­ing in Zahedan in south­east­ern Iran, be­cause of bad weather con­di­tions in In­dia. Flight 810 had left Tehran’s Imam Khome­ini’s In­ter­na­tional Air­port for Mum­bai, but was forced to land in Zahedan at 13:50 hours lo­cal time (09:20 GMT).”

A se­nior Air­ports Au­thor­ity of In­dia of­fi­cial said the air­craft may not have had the tech­nol­ogy to land in in­clement weather, as the air­craft is 25 years old. An air­line of­fi­cial in Mum­bai has de­nied emer­gency land­ing at Zahedan.

WHILE AN IRANINAN NEWS AGENCY CLAIMED THAT THE AIR­LINE MADE AN EMER­GENCY LAND­ING AT ZAHEDAN, AN AIR­LINE OF­FI­CIAL IN MUM­BAI HAS DE­NIED AN EMER­GENCY LAND­ING

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