Oman: At Muscat airport in Oman today, a Kochi-bound Air India Express was evacuated after a fire was discovered in one of the engines moments before takeoff. During that moment, all 145 passengers, including four infants were onboard, who were later evacuated along with the entire staff and immediately relocated to the terminal building.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced in a statement that a relief flight will be organized. Formerly, owned by the government, Tata Group currently owns Air India Express. Marketed as India’s first low-cost international airline, it primarily connects to Southeast Asia and the Middle East/West Asia.
Previous instances of flights being canceled/diverted
The track record for Indian Airlines has been quite unremarkable in the last few months, especially, in July. Two months ago, a burning smell forced an Air India Express plane flying from Calicut to Dubai to make a divergence at Muscat. However, no major damage was found.
Not just this, but due to odd vibrations in the engine, an Indigo flight from Delhi to Vadodara was forced to make a precautionary divergence to Jaipur. The pilot of a different Indigo flight from Sharjah to Hyderabad reported an aircraft technical issue, and the flight was diverted to Karachi in Pakistan marking it as a precautionary landing. All the passengers were then transported to Hyderabad safely on a different plane after that.
Similarly, a Go First flight from Delhi to Guwahati had to be diverted to Jaipur when a section of the windscreen broke mid-flight. That was the third instance of malfunction in the Go First flight within two days. In order to assert more control, the civil minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, met with airlines, officials from the ministry, and regulators in the same month.