KARACHI: An Indian airliner carrying 132 passengers and 12 crew members from Delhi made an unexpected landing at Jinnah International Airport after reporting some fault and seeking permission from authorities here on Tuesday morning, hours before another aircraft from India arrived to fly them to their destination.

A spokesman for the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority said the aircraft, a Boeing 737, took off from Delhi for Dubai, but was diverted to Karachi after the captain reported some fault and sought permission for landing at Jinnah International.

“The Indian plane landed safely at 9:17am,” he said, adding that initially all the passengers were asked to stay in the aircraft. They were provided food while engineers from the Pakistan International Airlines inspected the aircraft,” he said.

Later, the passengers were allowed to disembark and they were taken to the transit lounge after SpiceJet informed Pakistan authorities that it was sending a replacement aircraft from Mumbai to ferry the passengers to the UAE.

The aircraft from Mumbai landed at Karachi airport at around 6pm and flew to Dubai after 9pm, the CAA spokesman said, adding that the baggage and stuff was transferred and loaded to the replacement plane.

In a series of tweets, SpiceJet said: “On July 5, 2022, SpiceJet B737 aircraft operating flight SG-11 (Delhi-Dubai) was diverted to Karachi due to an indicator light malfunctioning. The aircraft landed safely at Karachi and passengers were safely disembarked. No emergency was declared and the aircraft made a normal landing. There was no earlier report of any malfunction with the aircraft. Passengers have been served refreshments. A replacement aircraft is being sent to Karachi that will take the passengers to Dubai.”

The CAA spokesman explained that an oil or fuel leak indicator light was a fault, regardless of an actual leakage or not.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2022

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