Belfast International Airport: Damaged aircraft towed off runway

Belfast International Airport
Belfast International Airport

The stranded freight aircraft that caused travel chaos at Aldergrove on Tuesday was eventually towed off the runway around 6.30pm.

Flights were beginning to return to normal in the afternoon with services operating from a reduced length runway.

All flights were initially put on hold as staff worked to unload freight from the plane stranded at the intersection of the airport’s two runways.

The airport has told the News Letter that while passengers were still suffering some knock-on disruption in the afternoon, there were “no significant delays”.

This morning’s closure resulted in the cancellation of inbound and outbound flights, directly impacting around 1,300 passengers travelling to and from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Bristol, Liverpool and Luton.

But an airport spokeswoman added: “There have been no further cancellations since this morning and there are none forecast for this evening.”

Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport

A team from the Air Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB) arrived at the airport this afternoon to inspect the damaged aircraft.

The disabled plane, which landed shortly before 6am on Tuesday, was on the runway for more than 12 hours.

The spokeswoman said the aircraft had sustained damage to its undercarriage.

She added: “This incident happened shortly before 6am this morning, just before our first scheduled departures were due to take off. The plane came to a stop at the intersection of the two runways, effectively blocking both. It really was a case of the worst time and worst place for this to happen.

Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport

“Thankfully planes are able to operate using a reduced length of our main runway, so we have been able to get flights in and out.”

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