Korean Air plane overshoots Cebu airport runway in Philippines

Flights stopped from Mactan-Cebu International Airport after Korean Air plane sustains heavy damage

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The Philippines' second-largest airport was closed after a Korean Air plane overshot the runway late on Sunday.

The Airbus SE A330-300 aircraft was carrying 162 passengers and 11 crew when it slipped off the runway at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in bad weather. Despite the aircraft sustaining damage, no one was injured.

All flights have been cancelled for the time being, the airport said.

The flight, KE631, took off from Seoul’s Incheon Airport on Sunday. Data from Flightradar24, which tracks air traffic, showed the plane circling the airport several times. It tried to land twice, before overshooting the runway on the third attempt.

“The incident has necessitated the temporary closure of the MCIA runway to allow for the safe removal of the aircraft. For now, all international and domestic flights to and from MCIA are cancelled until further notice,” the airport said.

“We are working with Korean Air, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority and the Civil Authority of the Philippines for the swift resolution of this matter. Updates will immediately be given once available.”

“We are working with Korean Air, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority and the Civil Authority of the Philippines for the swift resolution of this matter. Updates will immediately be given once available.”

Philippine officials said the plane’s remaining fuel would be siphoned off before efforts begin to remove the aircraft. Authorities were also assessing if the other aircraft stranded at the airport could be allowed to fly out safely.

Cebu's CDN news service said airport officials later said they hoped to resume partial operations by Tuesday.

Photographs of the blue Korean Air plane showed its underbelly scraped away and its nose damaged. The incident prompted an apology from the airline.

“We always prioritise safety in all of our operations, and we truly regret the stress and inconvenience brought to our passengers,” Korean Air President Woo Keehong said.

In 1981, A Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 jetliner overshot the runway while taking off from Manila’s international airport and skidded to a stop at the edge of a major motorway. The accident injured more than a dozen of about 350 people on-board.

The plane hit a concrete fence and skidded to a halt on its belly with its front section frighteningly protruding over a busy side road of a motorway south of metropolitan Manila.

Updated: October 24, 2022, 8:48 AM
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