Air India plane in security scare over Hungary, fighter jets scrambled to locate Mumbai-London flight

By: | Updated: March 10, 2017 7:28 PM

A major mishap was feared by aviation authorities today after a London-bound Air India aircraft from Ahmedabad lost contact with the Air Traffic Control while flying over Hungary.

Air India, Air India news, Air India latest news, Air India flight, Air India aircraft, Air India mishap, Air India flight mishap, bird attackAn Air India aircraft, which took off from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai at 7 am, suddenly lost all contact with ATC while it was flying over this European country. (ANI)

A major mishap was feared by aviation authorities today after a London-bound Air India (AI) aircraft from Ahmedabad lost contact with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) while flying over Hungary. The aircraft, which took off from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai at 7 am, suddenly lost all contact with ATC while it was flying over this European country. Alive to the situation, authorities quickly scrambled fighter jets to locate the plane physically through eye-sight. Much to the relief of all concerned the Air India jet was located safely flying in the scheduled area – thereafter, the flight landed safely at London’s Heathrow Airport at 11:05 am. There were as many as 249 people on board (231 passengers and 18 crew members). The reason behind the scare was due to a technical glitch that an Air India spokesperson termed as ‘frequency fluctuations’. With terrorists being a constant scare in Eurpe and India, the authorities assume the worst and then get about implementing their counter-terror strategies to ensure all eventualities are guarded against.

Just a month ago, a similar incident had happened and that time it had to do with a Jet Airways flight which was again, flying over Europe, this one was over Germany when it lost contact with the ATC and that country’s air force had sent its fighter jets to locate and safely escort the plane.

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Another scare involved a Delhi-bound Air India flight from Bhopal, carrying 122 passengers and crew on board, which was diverted to Jaipur today after the aircraft suffered a bird hit during take-off. “All the passengers deplaned safely after the aircraft landed at Jaipur. The aircraft suffered the bird hit during the take off from Bhopal airport, an Air India spokesperson had said. The aircraft has been grounded and Air India is assessing the damage to the plane. Birds crashing into planes usually pose an element of danger, with some recorded yet rare incidents where such accidents had resulted in fatalities.

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Meanwhile, Air India today revealed it will start flights to Israel by May, a move that is likely to boost tourism traffic. AI is planning to open the New Delhi-Tel Aviv route with three weekly flights by May, the state-run airline said in a release. With the addition of the Delhi-Tel Aviv sector to AI roster, travel between the two countries is slated to increase exponentially.

(With inputs from PTI)

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