A Swiftair Boeing 737-400F aircraft operated for West Atlantic Sweden suffered a runway excursion incident at Montpellier Airport (MPL) in France on Saturday. The three people onboard the plane were unharmed, and the local authorities decided to close the airport while a specialized company removed the aircraft from the pond of Mauguio, where it ended.
This Saturday, at around 2:50 local time, a plane loaded with freight suffered a runway excursion while landing at the airport of Montpellier. The aircraft, registration EC-NLS, finally stopped partially submerged in the pond of Mauguio. The plane, operated by Swiftair for West Atlantic Sweden, was operating flight SWN5745 from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG).
The department of Hérault, located in Southern France, released a statement on the incident. It said that the three people onboard the aircraft were unharmed. They were removed from the plane and put in safety due to the quick reaction from the local emergency services.
“The aircraft is immobilized at the end of the runway, partially submerged from its front part (also known as the nose of the plane. As a safety measure, Montpellier airport is closed to cargo and commercial flights for an undetermined period, pending the intervention of a specialized company to move the aircraft.”
Montpellier airport is closed
Due to the incident, Montpellier Airport is currently closed. The airport authorities have stated on its website that a technical incident is currently preventing normal operation. They urge passengers and those accompanying them not to go to the airport until operations are possible and encourage them to contact their airline and check the flight status in real time.
According to data by FlightRadar24.com, 12 departing flights and 11 landing flights have already been canceled on Saturday. The airlines impacted by the closure of the airport have been Transavia France, easyJet, Air France, Luxair, KLM, and Volotea. For Sunday, Montpellier Airport is also canceling 12 services in the morning (six landings and six departures). The afternoon flights are still scheduled, but there is no guarantee they will be operated.
Transavia and Air France are the main carriers operating weekly from Montpellier, with 55 and 28 weekly scheduled services each week.
This photograph shows a Swiftair Boeing 737 after it overran the runway during its landing phase at night at Montpellier airport, on September 24, 2022. Photo: Getty Images.
The plane involved in this incident is a 29.7 years-old Boeing 737-400(SF) registration EC-NLS. It is operated by Swiftair, a Spanish carrier based in Madrid Barajas Airport. Swiftair operates this aircraft for West Atlantic Sweden.
Throughout its history, this Boeing 737-400F has had three operators. British Airways operated it between 1993 and 2015 as a passenger aircraft. The British carrier first ordered the plane from Boeing back in October 1988. Between 2017 and 2020, West Atlantic operated the aircraft after it was converted to a freighter. Finally, the plane went to Swiftair in 2020, which is currently a part of the 48-aircraft fleet by the Spanish carrier.
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