On August 3, an Emirates passenger jet, flying from Thiruvananthapuram crash landed at Dubai airport, catching fire soon after. However, all the 300 passengers and crew were able to escape miraculously. The carrier’s chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said a firefighter lost his life while battling the flames.
A day after the incident, Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor wrote on Facebook about his concerns regarding the Emirates aircraft. He said he had flown on the route a number of times himself and has always been concerned “about the age and condition of the aircraft Emirates seems to use on this sector”. He alleged that these aircraft are inferior to the ones that ply on the European route.
He urged the airlines to ‘investigate’ what led to the crash landing and also their other aircraft that have been plying on the Dubai-Kerala sector.
Read the post here.
While many agreed with Tharoor, in response to the post, Nikhila Shaju, who claims to be an employee of the airlines, defended Emirates saying that they can’t use bigger aircraft because the runways of Indian airports are not strong enough to hold the aircraft.
Shaju’s comment read: “Hi sir, it was a Boeing 777 and was jus 13yrs old…as an employee of this airline..I relatively see close which kind of aircrafts they use in Indian sectors,mostly it’s Boeing 777 and also we have Jumbo Airbus A380’s flying down to one of the Indian sectors… To start more A380’s the runways should b strong enough to hold these jumbo jets,most of our Indian airports should have a strong constructional base,which u have to investigate too..So, before questioning Y such aircrafts are used in Indian sectors,it’s always better to research Y “CAN’T”such advanced aircrafts not to be used in Indian sectors!!”(sic)
The airline and the aircraft both have a good safety record and this was the first time an aircraft operated by Emirates appeared to have been damaged beyond repair since it was founded in the 1980s. This is only its third serious safety incident. Emirates carried 51.3 million passengers in 2015 and is the world’s fourth largest carrier in terms of passenger numbers adjusted for the length of each trip. It has a fleet of over 250 aircraft, including the world’s largest fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 jets, and uses its Dubai hub to link the United States or Europe to Asia.
(with inputs from ENS)