Plane Catches Fire At Muscat Airport, Passengers Safe

The fire was detected just before take-off at the Muscat airport in Oman.

New Delhi:

An Air India Express flight bound for Kochi was evacuated at Muscat airport in Oman today after fire was detected in one of the engines just before take-off.

All crew and the 145 passengers on board, four of them infants, were evacuated from the aircraft and shifted to the terminal building. No serious injuries were reported. “Relief flight will be organised,” said a statement by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Air India Express, earlier a government carrier, is now owned by the Tata group. Billed as India’s first international budget carrier, it mainly connects to the Middle East/West Asia, besides Southeast Asia.

Two months ago, an Air India Express aircraft operating from Calicut to Dubai had to be diverted to Muscat after a burning smell was observed. No serious damage was found.

July was an eventful month for Indian airlines.

An IndiGo flight from Delhi to Vadodara was diverted to Jaipur as a precautionary measure following unusual vibrations in the engine. Another IndiGo flight from Sharjah to Hyderabad diverted to Karachi in Pakistan after the pilot reported a technical defect in the aircraft. That, too, was a precautionary landing and all the passengers were safely brought to Hyderabad in an alternate flight.

A Go First flight from Delhi to Guwahati was diverted to Jaipur after a layer of the aircraft’s windshield cracked mid-air. This was the third incident of technical malfunction on a Go First aircraft in two days.

That month the Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, held meetings with airlines and officials from his ministry and the regulator to ensure better oversight.