Passengers on an Air India Express flight who were bound to Doha from Mangaluru had hearts in their mouth for a while, as the captain declared mid-air emergency after the aircraft saw an engine failure and was forced to return.
The aircraft carrying 173 passengers and six crew members made an emergency landing at the Mangaluru International Airport 45 minutes after taking off.
“The Boeing 737-800 plane landed safely and there was no harm to any passenger or crew,” a newspaper said, quoting an Air India Express official, who also informed that the flight was rescheduled for Friday at 5.30am.
“Flight, IX 821, departed from Mangaluru for Doha at 5.40pm. However, when it was mid-air, the pilot detected some technical snag and decided to take back the aircraft to Mangaluru,” the official explained.
Passengers were given the option of either boarding the rescheduled flight, taking a full refund or deferring their journey to another date.
The captain was praised for his presence of mind and handling of situation. Pictures of passengers taking selfies with the captain too did the rounds on social media.
“Ravindran, group general manager and in-charge airport director, Mangaluru International Airport, who confirmed the incident, said the flight landed without a hitch and the entire airport apparatus was put on high alert following communication from the captain that he was returning to the airport as per procedure,” a daily said.
Passengers heard a loud noise after which they panicked. They also observed the aircraft losing its altitude after the engine failure and experienced strong vibrations on its return journey.