A possible collision between two aircraft ferrying 220 passengers was averted at the Mumbai airport as the pilots aborted take off at the last minute after allegedly being given the green signal to become airborne from "diagonal" runways simultaneously in Mumbai on Sunday.
"At 7.45 AM, two departing aircraft, one of Air India and another of Jet Airways, aborted take off from the cross runway," Mumbai International Airport Ltd spokesperson said. There were 120 passengers including four children on board Jet Airway's Mumbai-Kolkata flight while Air India's Mumbai-New Delhi-Shanghai flight had 104 passengers.
Air India spokesperson said that the Air Traffic Control had instructed pilots of both the flights to take off. "The two aircraft were at the diagonal runways. They were given clear to take off by the ATC that subsequently asked to abort the take off," Air India spokesperson said. ATC officials were not available for comment. "Our pilot was given permission to take off from runway (14/32 cross runway). The Air India pilot of flight 348 misunderstood signal and started taking off from the main runway (09/27)," a Jet Airways spokesperson told PTI in Mumbai. The ATC asked Air India pilot to abort the take off, the spokesperson said, adding "our pilot also applied breaks as a precautionary measure".