On October 23rd 2022, Korean Air flight KE631 suffered a runway excursion while landing at Cebu Mactan Intl Airport in the Philippines. Korean Air has not had a fatal passenger airplane crash since 1997, and has held an impressive safety record since.

Incident

The aircraft involved was a 24 year old Airbus A330-200 that was registered with Korean Air as HL7525. On board the flight from Incheon Airport, Seoul was carrying a total of 173 souls on board, with 162 of them being passengers. The crew of the Korean Air Airbus A330 attempted to land twice at Cebu Mactan International Airport (CEB/RPVM) in the Philippines due to bad weather and poor visibility. The plane then overshot the runway, triggering an emergency evacuation with a slide.

Korean Air jet overruns runway at Cebu International Airport in Philippines
The stricken A330 (Credit: Reuters)

KE631 took off at 19:20 from Seoul Incheon airport bound for Cebu, the flight was uneventful until the final stages. It was reported that the flight had difficulty landing due to the appalling weather conditions, the flight crew had attempted to land twice already and on the third attempt, the aircraft overran.

The airline stated that there were no injuries amongst the passengers and crew on that flight. All the passengers were given accommodation in an airport hotel. Korean Air’s President issued a statement via social media, apologising for the incident and saying that there was an investigation under way by South-Korean and Philippine authorities”. One thing that can be praised is the quick response to the incident by Korean Air, who apologized immediately for the inconvenience caused. Photos of the airplane reveal a collapsed nose gear, along with heavy damage to the front fuselage, as well as damage to the engines, there was also a large crack on the top of the aircraft.

The heavily damaged A330-200 (Credit: Sky News)

“We remain committed to standing behind our promise of safe operations and will do our very best to institute measures to prevent its recurrence,” the airline said. It wouldn’t take an expert to say that the A330-200 is no longer airworthy and will be written off. Cebu Mactan Airport issued a statement saying that the runway had been closed in order to start removing the airplane. This meant that all domestic and international flights were cancelled until further notice from the airport.

By Tantawat H

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