Nepal’s only international airport closed after plane skids off runway

KATHMANDU, Apr 20: Nepal’s only international airport has been closed after a Kuala Lumpur-bound flight with 139 people on board skidded off the runway while attempting to take off, officials said.
Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu was forced to halt all international flights after the incident involving Malindo Air jet late last night, The Kathmandu Post reported.
There were 139 people, including four crew members, on board the aircraft, Boeing 737-900, registration 9M-LNJ. No casualty has been reported, the report said.
“The flight captain aborted take off at the final moment after he saw an error at the monitor inside the cockpit,” the airport’s general manager Raj Kumar Chettri said quoting the captain.
The aircraft apparently could not stop because of the take off speed and load at the final moment and overran 50 metre south from the runway threshold and rested in a grassland at around 22:08 PM (local time), Chettri said.
The runway was closed following the incident. However, the aircraft has not suffered any damage but the front tyre has been stuck in the mud. Officials were trying to tow the aircraft.
The domestic flights will not be affected. However, the runway has been shut for all international aircraft, the report said.
In 2015, a Turkish Airlines plane also suffered a runway excursion during landing, closing the airport for four days, creating chaos among travellers. (PTI)