Pilot Grounded as Air India flight Landed on the wrong (under-construction) runway in Maldives

Pilot Grounded as Air India flight AI263, an Airbus A320neo  with 136 passengers on board landed on a runway that was under construction at Male Velana International Airport in the Maldives. The wheels of the airplane as well as the brakes assemblies were seriously damaged and have to be replaced.


The Airbus A320 Neo aircraft was carrying 136 passengers from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram airport to Velana International Airport on the Island of Hulhulé when it landed on the wrong runway.

All passengers and crew were safe following the landing but as a result of the “serious incident”, the plane’s two pilots have been “off-rostered” pending investigation.

An airline spokesperson said it is likely the breaks were applied, damaging the tires, when the pilots realized they had landed at the “uncommissioned runway”.

The spokesman added: “The local authorities are conducting a probe.”

According to a DGCA official, Flight AI 263 operating from Thiruvananthapuram to Male landed on the wrong runway at 3.55 pm. Fortunately, all 136 passengers and crew on board the new Airbus A320neo aircraft were safe.

A DGCA statement said, “this being a serious incident, Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has been informed. Both the pilots have been off rostered”.

The under-construction runway is 3,400 meters long and 60 meters wide.

However, the construction of this new runway began in March 2018 and was almost complete.

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