Airport delays for hundreds of passengers after Chinese business jet skids off runway

Plane’s owner says pilot had been undergoing training after aircraft veers off course during landing, resulting in overnight closure of airport

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 May, 2018, 5:47pm
UPDATED : Monday, 21 May, 2018, 6:27pm

A business jet veered off a runway in eastern China on Sunday afternoon, causing 700 passengers to be delayed.

The plane, carrying four people, ended up nearly 70 metres from Yangzhou Taizhou airport runway in Jiangsu province at around 3pm after it attempted to land during pilot training, according to Xinhua.

A video on Weibo, China’s Twitter, shows the plane skidding to the left before veering back across the tarmac and finally coming to a halt.

A photograph posted below the video shows the aircraft body intact but the landing gear and wings damaged.

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The incident caused the fuel tank to burst, reported China News Service, but no passengers were injured.

It remains unclear what caused the plane to skid off the runway, the airport said in a statement. An investigation is under way.

The airport closed following the incident, resulting in delays for 700 passengers, reported state newspaper People’s Daily. By 6:30am on Monday, operations had returned to normal, the airport confirmed.

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The plane was owned by Shanghai-based Star Jet, which confirmed it was carrying out pilot training at the time. In a statement published on its website, it “deeply apologised” for the incident and to those it affected.

Yangzhou Taizhou airport opened in 2012 and serves most major Chinese cities and a few other locations in Southeast Asia. In 2015 it received more than 870,000 passengers.