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Kathmandu airport closed

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Turkish airlinesNepal’s only international airport has been closed after a Turkish Airlines plane skidded off the runway early Wednesday morning.

Airport officials say flight service might resume by evening but they are yet to find the way to pull the crashed aircraft off the runway.

An airbus 330 plane carrying 224 passengers went off the runway while crash-landing at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Kathmandu at around 7:45 a.m. All passengers are safe. They were evacuated through emergency exit doors.

The plane, which skidded onto grassland after missing the runway, is still stuck there. It is not clear what caused the crash. The TIA officials say technical failure and bad weather might have caused it. The TIA runway was covered with fog early morning.

Civil Aviation Authority Nepal (CAAN) authorities are now busy discussing ways to remove the crashed plane, clearing the runway for other international planes to land and take off.

After the crash, international airlines have either cancelled or delayed their flights to and from Kathmandu. Hundreds of passengers are seen outside the TIA, waiting for information about their delayed flights. Some airlines have asked passengers to contact their travel agencies by pasting notice outside the TIA terminal.

The airport was initially closed till 12 p.m. But, only domestic flights were allowed after 12 p.m. The TIA administration has published another notice, saying the airport will be closed until 5 p.m.

The CAAN lacks equipment to pull the plane off the grassland, without which disrupted international flight service is unlikely to resume.

“We do not own equipment required to remove such a big aircraft because they are expensive,” a CAAN official told Nepali Times.

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20 Responses to “Kathmandu airport closed”

  1. Chuckster007 on Says:

    3rd worst airport in the world and cant afford to buy equipment, maybe use water buffalo to pull the plane FFS

  2. Airline Guy on Says:

    I keep repeating my mantra – privatise, privatise privatise. In the hands of the Nepal govt. there is only death and decay!

    Look at how nice and polished the GMR and GVK run airports in New Delhi and Mumbai are. As a Nepali I can only turn green with envy!

  3. Khagendra on Says:

    The only international airport in the country CLOSED! What a bunch of jokers the govt. and the TIA authorities are. A national and international embarrassment.

    As far as I know, Turkish Airlines, Silk Air, Thai Airways, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Malaysian Airlines often fly the bigger Airbus A330 or Boeing 777 to Kathmandu TIA when passenger numbers are good. TIA charges a bomb to these international airlines for landing, parking and ground handling – one of the highest fees in the world. What equipment have TIA authorities invested for emergencies like todays? Almost nothing.

    An international embarrassment!

  4. namah on Says:

    they can afford…just waiting for the right amount of kickbacks. LOL…until then you will get the feeling of getting kicked in your back by a water buffalo when your plane routinely crash lands!

  5. Raihan on Says:

    Any possible time to reopen the international flight? Our flight is tomorrow 6th march from bangladesh. Need to know the possible time. If possible please confirm.

  6. selim on Says:

    Hi, is there any update news about the plane’s situation. We stucked at Varanasi. Hoping to reach Katmandu.

    Ps: namah is trying to make joke but it’s not funny after a serious accident.

  7. Khagendra on Says:

    Raihan, hopefully tomorrow if the aircraft removal kit requested from India arrives today.

  8. Dr Sumit Rai on Says:

    I was traveling with my family. Ageing parents wife and 3 years daughter who is sick. No arrangements made by airport authority for stranded passengers. Nepal is a place that cannot be visited by family.

  9. Damien Francois on Says:

    For years, I have heard that the problem lies with the runway’s upper layer. Since there is no other runway for big jets in the country, it has never been really renewed. Is that correct? Makes sense…
    I myself hope to land safely in 2 weeks, on March 19th – flying to nepal sounds more adventurous than the Everest expedition I will join… First, my Etihad flight from Brussels will fly over northern Irak – we can see Mosul, Kirkuk and Erbil in the distance, then over Tikrit-Bhagdad -, then Lukla (my 11th time time – pretty safe, in fact). Does anyone know if flights are diverted or still operating over war zones? I mean, the Air Malaysia plane in the ukraine last summer… And, guess what, I’m with… Malaysians on the Everest expedition.
    Shiva – or Garuda??? :-)) – please help…

  10. Ashok Sunhal on Says:

    Just returned back from Delhi Airport due to my Spicejet flight cancellation to Kathmandu.

    Hope will get another opportunity soon to visit Nepal.

  11. jf on Says:

    ASN report:
    An Airbus A330-303, operated by THY Turkish Airlines, suffered a runway excursion accident upon landing at Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM), Nepal.
    Flight TK726 was a regular passenger service from Istanbul-Atatürk International Airport (IST) to Kathmandu, Nepal. The flight was the first international flight to scheduled to arrive that morning. After descending from cruising altitude, it entered a holding pattern at FL210 at 06:12 hours local time (00:27 UTC) until about 07:00 (01:15 UTC) when it was cleared for a VOR/DME approach to runway 02. This approach was abandoned at about the Missed Approach Point at 1DME and the aircraft performed a go around. The aircraft circled and positioned for a second approach to runway 02. After landing the aircraft went off the left side of the runway. It ran onto soft soil and the nose landing gear collapsed.

    ASN ranking about Nepal airport safety is here
    in fact no ranking, meaning poor.

    All air carriers certified by the authorities with responsibility for regulatory oversight of Nepal, are subject to a ban within the European Community.
    and the airport does not seem to be better. since end of 2013.

    So without a real concern, commitment and investment from a Nepali government always in search of some running away constitution and no real commitment nor willing to build one what would you expect? Nothing is forecasted, responses are always elusive and untrustable, and actions do not follow…

  12. vanb on Says:

    Anyone heard an update if the equipment from India got here. Have a rescheduled flight Fri @ 6pm.

  13. namah on Says:

    serious accident? NOT YET. but soon there will be one. I apologize to those who felt the acidic bite of my comment. NOT directed at you or your loved ones, but more to those who should be running a high availability services (airport, police, CBI, etc.) like their father’s motorcycle repair shop.

    p.s. I have worked on real time, fault tolerant systems. my professors were consultants to Boeing, etc. I know how critical tenths of a second can be when an aircraft of this size starts to make blind landings. What I am EVEN more concerned is the business model at TIA. Especially the amount of money which will be transferred from Turkish Airways to certain TIA officials to hush things up, OR maybe even the other way around.

    The main issue is what really happened? How to avoid it? Current situation is not acceptable.

  14. Umesh Shrestha on Says:

    I feel ashamed that I was born in Nepal. We have everything but the our so called leader should be hanged till death.

  15. PT on Says:

    Nepal is a beautiful country that is totally screwed up
    By the corrupt and incompetent politicians. As a landlocked country Nepal must invest in a second runway and a larger terminal and yes, privatize the airport for efficient operations,

  16. surendra on Says:

    here’s the updated on this matter

  17. Stephan on Says:

    The officials must be fired
    1. Nepal Airlines buys a Airbus 320 to find out that they miss 10 pilots to really operate it. Last week of February 2015
    2. Nepal Airlines wants too make his maiden flight to Delhi, they find out that they forgot to have a flight permission
    3. Turkish Airlines craslanded, Nepal Airlines which is basically Airport authority does not have an equipmen

    Excuse me is this all a joke??????????

  18. Airline Guy on Says:

    I’m an airline insider in Nepal (not a pilot). The rumour going around is that Turkish Airlines and the TIA Air Traffic controllers (ATC) had an understanding between them i.e. as long as Turkish Airlines pilots feel confident enough to land to let them – no matter the weather conditions. Apparently there were many incidents where Turkish would land (they’re the first in the morning) and thereafter the ATC would close the airport citing bad weather! Difficult to believe but who knows? People do terrible things for money here – that’s the prevailing culture.

    Our present Nepali culture says ‘to be honest is to be stupid!’ Look at that genius Prachanda… heard he took 1.5 crores from Lharkyal Lama.

  19. hanna on Says:

    how long would it take to clear off the runway ! would it be clear on monday

  20. Jigme on Says:

    It’s really sad that Nepal is beautiful country and happy to know that they
    Got loyal leaders. Incase of Turkish air slide we feel so sad and sorry too, it’s
    Very uncertain , we salute to Turkish polite and the crew. We hope in coming
    Future Nepal may unitized their natural culture and tradition, grow up Nepal
    And don’t insult Nepalese.

    Grow up grow up Nepal ,,otherwise better handover yourself to india, hope they
    Will improve nepal….

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