AN AIR India-operated Boeing 787 plane with around 260 people on board suffered cabin depressurisation on Thursday, while flying from Dubai to Kochi, according to official sources. The aircraft was cruising at 37,000 feet when the issue occurred and saw oxygen masks being deployed with some of the passengers suffering nosebleeds, they said.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating the incident. The regulator has grounded the aircraft and off-rostered the crew pending an investigation.
Following the depressurisation, the pilots descended the aircraft to 10,000 feet. “The captain reported the pressurisation loss to the Air India Integrated Operations Control Centre, and diverted the flight to Mumbai,” a DGCA official said. There were 247 passengers and 11 crew members on board.
Confirming the incident, an Air India spokesperson said in a statement: “Flight AI 934 operating from Dubai to Cochin was diverted to Mumbai today due to a technical issue. The B787 aircraft landed safely at Mumbai at 1912 hrs with 247 passengers and crew. An alternate aircraft is being arranged to carry passengers from Mumbai to Kochi. The matter has been reported to the DGCA.”
The incident is the latest in a series of safety-related incidents faced by Indian airlines, particularly those pertaining to engineering issues. On Tuesday, GoFirst witnessed two engine malfunctions on different flights.
In the first incident, which happened early Tuesday, a Leh-bound flight from Mumbai diverted to Delhi after a fault was found in the right side power plant’s engine interface unit. In the second occurrence, the aircraft operating on the Srinagar-Delhi route turned back to its origin airport after the exhaust gas temperature went over limit.
Last week, several incidents were reported ranging from engine snags and burning smell in cabin to a bird entering the airplane cockpit. Low-cost airline SpiceJet saw at least eight incidents in less than a month, and the regulator issued a show-cause notice to the airline, saying it had “failed” to establish safe, efficient and reliable air services.