Indonesian Flight Makes Emergency Landing

Thu May 16 2024
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JAKARTA: A jetliner carrying 468 passengers from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia made an emergency landing due to an engine fire, according to Garuda Indonesia.

The Indonesian flag carrier reported that Flight Garuda-1105 bound for Madinah, operated by a Boeing 747-400, returned to Makassar Airport at 5:15 pm without any injuries to passengers.

Garuda’s president director, Irfan Setiaputra, stated that the decision to return was made by the pilot due to observed engine issues, which manifested as sparks of fire in one of the engines shortly after takeoff. Among the passengers were 450 travelers and 18 crew members, including pilgrims embarking on the hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. They were accommodated before being rebooked on an alternate flight to their destination later that day.

Although footage circulating on social media purportedly showed the plane’s engine ablaze during takeoff, the authenticity of the video could not be verified. The aircraft in question has been grounded for a safety investigation, as confirmed by Irfan.

Garuda Indonesia, predominantly owned by the Indonesian state, incurred significant losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the grounding of most of its fleet due to travel restrictions and reduced demand, as well as staff layoffs.

Indonesia heavily relies on air transport to connect its numerous islands, but the country has experienced several fatal plane accidents in recent years. This includes the tragic crash in 2021, where a Sriwijaya Air Boeing passenger jet crashed into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, claiming the lives of all 62 occupants onboard. Furthermore, in March, Indonesia’s transport ministry initiated an investigation into Batik Air following reports of two pilots falling asleep during a flight.

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