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IndiGo Denies Mamata Banerjee's Plane Was Short On Fuel, Claims ATC Misinterpreted Orders

"The fuel on arrival was more than the minimum diversion fuel and there has been no violation or breach of any regulatory requirement."

01/12/2016 2:19 PM IST | Updated 01/12/2016 2:31 PM IST
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Hindustan Times via Getty Images

PATNA -- In the wake of the ongoing controversy over the emergency landing made by the commercial plane yesterday with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee onboard, IndiGo on Thursday clarified that the flight captain at no stage declared a fuel priority or emergency, adding that the fuel on arrival was more than minimum.

The airline in a statement said IndiGo flight from Patna to Kolkata had normal landing at the Kolkata Airport and the flight was kept on hold due to air traffic.

"IndiGo flight 6E 342 from Patna and Kolkata made a normal landing at the Kolkata airport on Wednesday, 30 November. The flight was kept on hold for landing due to air traffic congestion in Kolkata. The pilot operating 6E-342 had advised the ATC that he has eight minutes of extra holding fuel over Kolkata (destination) before commencing diversion to the planned alternate," the statement said.

The airline said the emergency landing was declared due to 'misinterpretation by the ATC'.

"However, this information was misunderstood by the Air Traffic Controller, who assumed that the aircraft had only eight minutes of total fuel left. The misinterpretation of the information by ATC controller led ATC to instruct fire engines and ambulances to be stationed at Kolkata airport. We would like to clarify - IndiGo Captain at no stage declared a fuel priority or an emergency," it added.

"Subsequently, the airplane made a normal landing at Kolkata Airport at 8 40 p.m. after being delayed by an hour due to congestion. The fuel on arrival was more than the minimum diversion fuel and there has been no violation or breach of any regulatory requirement in the above mentioned scenario", the statement said.

IndiGo said the safety of passengers, crew and the aircraft is the utmost priority and at no stage it can be compromised.

The IndiGo flight from Patna to Kolkata, which was reported short of fuel, was made to circle the airport for nearly 30 minutes as it waited in line for clearance to land.

When it touched down, the plane was surrounded by fire engines and ambulances, standard protocol for emergencies.

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