Plane with Indian boxing team that made 'emergency' landing in Dubai to return home on Sunday: SpiceJet
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India is investigating the entire incident.
A SpiceJet plane with ace pugilist Mary Kom and 30 other members of the Indian boxing contingent from Delhi onboard, was forced to hover for around 45 minutes and declared a fuel emergency before it landed safely at the Dubai airport on Saturday morning, sources said. A SpiceJet spokesperson told Khaleej Times said the aircraft landed in Dubai safely and all passengers have cleared immigration.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India is investigating the entire incident, according to a PTI report. The sources said that due to Covid-19 restrictions, SpiceJet had got special permission from the UAE government to bring these boxers to Dubai for the Asian Boxing Championship 2021 that will be held between May 24 and June 1.
However, the plane had to wait in the air for around 45 minutes due to a miscommunication between air traffic control on whether the aircraft could be allowed to land or not and a fuel emergency was declared, the report stated.
“The flight and passengers carried proper documentation. The flight was not categorised as a cargo flight, it was a regular passenger flight under the air bubble agreement and the same aircraft is bringing 140 passengers to India from Dubai on its return leg,” said the SpiceJet official.
The aircraft was to fly back to India at 6.30am on Saturday as it was a quick turnaround flight. Since it took longer to reach Dubai, the airline said the crew exhausted the maximum flight time for the day. “Due to this, the aircraft will now operate to India at 7.30am on Sunday,” said the spokesperson.
The flight SG142 carrying 31 boxers and six crew members departed from the Delhi airport at around 1.35am and landed at the Dubai airport at around 4.35am Saturday morning.
The UAE, since April 25, has barred all travellers from India — except UAE nationals, diplomatic passport holders and official delegation letter holders — due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the country. Six-time world champion Mary Kom was among the boxers onboard the aircraft.
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