Air Mauritius aircraft to take-off Friday night (Lead)

July 25th, 2008 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) The Air Mauritius aircraft which caught fire while taking-off here Thursday afternoon will now fly to Mauritius capital Port Louis at 10.30 p.m. Friday night, the airlines said here. The plane will carry all the 241 passengers stranded in the national capital for over 24 hours, an airlines spokesperson said.

“We have got the clearance from the technical team which rectified the snag in the aircraft that developed after it caught fire before takeoff Thursday,” the spokesperson said.

The pilot noticed flames coming out of the undercarriage while taking off at about 2 p.m. Thursday. The take off was aborted and the passengers were evacuated safely.

Air Mauritius had made arrangements for another aircraft, which was to fly out at 6 a.m. Friday, but it too developed a technical snag.

Air Mauritius chief executive Manoj R.K. Ujoodha said it was “unfortunate” that the aircraft that had been ferried to Delhi to ensure that passengers reached Mauritius also developed a technical problem.

Officials suspect the plane caught fire owing to a bird hit. According to airport officials, there have been more than 40 bird-hit cases so far this year.

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