AVIATION

Indonesia's Yogyakarta airport closed after Garuda jet skids off runway

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 February, 2017, 1:25pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 February, 2017, 3:12pm

Indonesian authorities said Yogyakarta’s Adisutjipto International Airport will remain closed until Thursday afternoon after a Garuda aircraft with 130 people on board skidded off the runway while landing late on Wednesday.

According to a statement on the website of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, the Boeing 737-800NG en route from Jakarta “went off the runway, as a result of heavy rain that made the runway slippery”.

Yogyakarta is the gateway to the cultural centre of Indonesia’s main island of Java.

Garuda spokesman Benny Butarbutar said there were no injuries and all 123 passengers and seven crew members had been evacuated safely. The statement made no mention of an investigation.

Indonesia’s Transport Ministry said in a statement the airport would remain closed until 3pm on Thursday.

Airport authorities were working to remove the aircraft from the runway area, an airport spokesman said, but needed to bring in salvage equipment from Jakarta and Surabaya through the nearby city of Solo.

“We’ll use whichever comes fastest to help with the evacuation process,” the spokesman said.

PT Angkasa Pura 1, the company that manages Adisutjipto International Airport, proposed temporarily rerouting all Yogyakarta-bound flights through Solo.

Indonesia has a patchy air safety record, with 12 accidents in 2016 in which 30 people killed, according to the Aviation Safety Network website.

In 2007, a Garuda Boeing 737 jet bounced and skidded off the runway at Yogyakarta airport before bursting into flames, killing 21 people.