Mumbai: A Paris-bound Air France plane with 212 people on board was forced to return to the airport in Mumbai in the wee hours on Monday, barely 27 minutes after takeoff, due to engine dysfunction. The aircraft landed normally and all passengers were safe, the airline said even as a foreign object was found in the engine during the checks. However, Air France claimed that the object had nothing to do with the "engine dysfunction" which forced the plane to return.
"Air France confirms that flight AF 217 from Mumbai to Paris's Charles de Gaulle (CDG) returned to Mumbai after approximately 30 minutes flight time. After having detected an engine dysfunction, the crew took the decision to return to Mumbai airport to reduce the power of one of the engines," Air France said in a statement from Paris. While technical checks will be performed on the aircraft (Airbus 330-200), Air France has dispatched a larger AF218 aircraft to operate the return flight tomorrow, the statement said.
Though the airline said a foreign object was found in the engine of the aircraft, it maintained that its presence had nothing to do with the return of the plane less than half an hour after takeoff. "An investigation will take place. The foreign object will be fully analysed. According to available information, this object found in the engine hood has absolutely no link with the engine dysfunction," the statement said. The aircraft carrying 200 passengers, including two infants, and a 12-member crew, had taken off at 3.13 am and landed back at 3.40 am due to the problem in the engine.
The aircraft landed normally and all passengers and crew have been accommodated in hotels, the statement said, adding its replacement AF 218 will arrive in Mumbai at 11.55 pm (local time).