Vilnius Airport suspends all flights for several hours following runway incident

Vilnius Airport suspends all flights for several hours following runway incident
# 03 February 2024 21:56 (UTC +04:00)

Vilnius Airport has been forced to suspend all incoming and outgoing flights on Saturday afternoon after a landing passenger plane skidded off the runway, APA reports citing Lithuanian National Radio and Television.

The incident involving an Avion Express aircraft occurred at 14:20. All passengers are safe, the airport administration said, but the runway remains closed for all flights until 17:40. Incoming flights are being redirected to the airports in Kaunas and Palanga.

The plane was on a charter flight from Milan.

According to initial data, there were 179 passengers and six crew members on board. The flight crew informed the airport authorities that nobody was injured and the aircraft made its way to the parking area, where the passengers disembarked.

As one passenger, who preferred not to be identified, told LRT.lt, the plane first landed on the runway, then skidded into the grass, and then returned to the runway.

“When the plane landed on the grass, mud started to spray on the windows and you couldn’t see anything through them,” the person said.

“In order to assess the impact of the incident on the runway equipment, inspections are currently underway and the airport will be closed to all flights until 17:40,” said Tadas Vasiliauskas, spokesman for Lithuanian Airports.

The circumstances and causes of the incident are under investigation, according to Lithuanian Airports.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED