Air India relief aircraft flies back with passengers

Islamabad/Lahore: An Air India relief plane has flown back to India with 122 passengers of another flight that made an emergency landing in Pakistan`s southern Sindh province early this morning after its alarm light started blipping. The Air India Airbus A320 sent to pick up the stranded passengers took off from Nawabshah airport in Sindh shortly after 3 pm, Pakistani officials told PTI.

A team of engineers flew in on the relief aircraft to repair the Air India plane that made the emergency landing at Nawabshah airport at 3.37 am. A team of technical experts from Pakistan`s Civil Aviation Authority is assisting its Indian counterparts. Officials of the Indian High Commission said the disabled aircraft was expected to depart later in the day after the repairs are completed.

Earlier in the day, the captain of the Air India flight going from Abu Dhabi to New Delhi sought permission for an emergency landing after emergency light showed a problem with the hydraulic system while in Pakistani airspace. The aircraft landed safely and the flight`s 122 passengers and eight crew members were unharmed, Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Pervez George told PTI.

Though Pakistani authorities had offered to allow the passengers to disembark and use the Nawabshah airport`s lounges, the captain preferred to have them remain on board, officials said. The captain asked for drinking water and this was supplied to the aircraft, they said.

Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi had instructed Civil Aviation Authority chief Nadeem Khan Yousufzai to provide all possible facilities and assistance to the crew and passengers of the Air India plane at Nawabshah.