New Delhi: An Air India plane made an emergency landing at Nawabshah airport in Sindh in Pakistan on Monday at 3:30 am. The flight, Airbus 319, was on its way from Abu Dhabi to New Delhi.
Local media reports say all 130 passengers on board the Air India flight were still inside the plane, but were safe. The flight was forced to land after all its three hydraulic systems failed.
The Pakistan Defence Ministry said that the plane landed after proper permission and conversation between the two controllers. The Ministry, however, said that since, there was no transit permission for the passengers, they will sit inside the plane till the new carrier comes.
Reports say that the Pakistani authorities offered the passengers to disembark, but the Air India pilots refused due to security concerns.
A relief plane, meanwhile, has left for Pakistan. It is expected to reach Pakistan at 1 pm IST. A technical team is also on board the plane to repair the damaged aircraft.
The captain of the Airbus aircraft, going from Abu Dhabi to New Delhi, contacted Pakistani authorities and sought permission for an emergency landing after detecting the problem with the hydraulic system, Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Pervez George told PTI.
In New Delhi, an Air India spokesperson said, "The aircraft was flying over Pakistan air space when the pilot saw a warning light in the cockpit and sought permission to land at the nearest airport which was Nawabshah."
The Ministry of External Affairs is monitoring the situation closely. Sources say the Foreign Secretary was in touch with the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan and he in turn had established contact with the Air India pilot.
(With additional information from PTI)