A JetLite aircraft with 139 people on board suffered damage to its tail while taking off from Mumbai on Wednesday but managed to land safely at the National Subhash Chandra Bose Airport in Kolkata.
No one was injured in the incident described by the airline as a 'tail scrape'. In a statement, JetLite claimed that "at no time was the safety of the passengers and crew compromised" in the incident.
Airport sources said the tail of the Kolkata-bound Boeing 737 was damaged while taking off from the Mumbai airport. "The plane landed in Kolkata safely with 135 passengers and four crew members on board," they said.
The sources said the pilot realised that the tail of the aircraft had been damaged during take-off but flew it to Kolkata safely. After the passengers disembarked, the aircraft was towed to a separate bay for repairs.
In a statement, JetLite said the aircraft would return to service after inspection.
"Whilst this is not a normal procedure, the occurrence is not uncommon in the industry. The manufacturers have a procedure to deal with this event, which occurs when the extendable tail's strut touches the runway during rotation," the airline said.
JetLite operated several flights on Wednesday to carry passengers of its parent company, Jet Airways, whose operations have been severely affected due to the pilots' stir since Tuesday.