A SpiceJet aircraft that was stuck on Mumbai airport’s main runway was pulled from its spot on Thursday night after three days. SpiceJet and city airport officials expect the 737-800 aircraft to be towed to the hangar on Friday, ANI reported.
“The disabled SpiceJet aircraft, which was stuck in Runway-27 RESA has been pulled out on Runway surface at 11.10 pm yesterday [Thursday],” the news agency quoted Mumbai International Airport spokesperson as saying.
The runway was closed late on Monday night after the SpiceJet plane from Jaipur overshot it while landing in heavy rain. A 150-metre ramp had been reportedly constructed to help move the Boeing 737-800 plane.
The aircraft blocked the main runway, limiting operations to a secondary runway and leading to many flight cancellations and delays. The Mumbai airport has only one main runway, which also makes it the busiest single-runway airport in the world and the second busiest airport in India.
A team of Air India engineers and technicians on Wednesday moved the plane from the main runway but were unable to lift it from the grassy area for it to be towed to the paved area and then on to the hangar. “We have lifted the aircraft by 60-70 meters in the last two days. We need to lift it by another 30-40 meters to take it to the paved area,” PTI quoted RK Bagchi, a general manager with Air India, who is leading the operations, as saying. “Since the front portion of the aircraft is stuck in the soft soil, it is taking time.”
The Mumbai airport had 46 flight cancellations till 8 pm on Thursday, according to the live flight tracking website Flightradar24. “The operations from the main runway remained suspended even Thursday due to the stranded SpiceJet plane,” the news agency quoted unidentified officials as saying. “However, the process to retrieve the plane from there is on. It is likely to be towed Friday.”