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Dubai-Bound SpiceJet 737 MAX Diverts To Pakistan Following Snag

A SpiceJet Boeing 737 MAX aircraft had to cut short its journey to Dubai this morning and land in Pakistan after the pilots noticed issues with the plane’s fuel system. The airplane is said to have made a safe landing, with no reported injury to passengers.

Dubai-bound MAX lands in Karachi

SpiceJet flight SG11 is a daily scheduled service between New Delhi (DEL) and Dubai (DXB) with a departure time of 07:40. On Tuesday morning, the airline’s Boeing 737 MAX 8 took off a little after 8 and followed the usual path, heading west to cross Pakistan and Iran before reaching Dubai.

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However, FlightRadar24.com shows that after about 1 hour and 20 minutes into the flight and cruising at 36,000 feet, the 737 turns south and starts approaching the Pakistani port city of Karachi.

The aircraft diverted because the pilots observed an unusual fuel quantity reduction from its left tank. The crew carried out all the necessary SOPs for such a situation, but the fuel kept on decreasing. The Times of India quotes a person familiar with the development as saying,

“The pilot-in-command decided to divert the aircraft to Karachi. The aircraft diverted in coordination with ATC and landed safely at Karachi. No emergency was declared. During post flight inspection, no visual leak has been observed from the left main tank.”

Arrangements being made

The airplane landed safely in Karachi at 09:17 local time, and all passengers were safely disembarked. A replacement aircraft from Mumbai is being arranged, which will carry technicians and equipment to repair the MAX at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport (KHI).

SpiceJet’s daily morning Delhi-Dubai flight almost exclusively uses the 737 MAX aircraft. FlightRadar24.com reveals that in the last 9 days, this particular flight has only been operated by the MAX.

The plane involved in the incident is registered as VT-MXG and is 3.5 years old. It was delivered to the budget carrier in December 2018.

According to ch-aviation, SpiceJet has more than 80 aircraft in its fleet, of which 13 are 737 MAX airplanes. Currently, it is the only Indian carrier to operate the MAX aircraft and is looking to add another 7 by the end of this year.

Sixth incident in the last 17 days

While flight diversions and mid-air snags are not uncommon, SpiceJet has had an unusual number of such incidents lately. In the last 17 days alone, the carrier has witnessed six incidents, all of which are being investigated by India’s regulator, the DGCA.

From smoke in the cabin to fuselage door warning to the latest fuel-related snag, SpiceJet has hit the headlines lately for all the wrong reasons. Hopefully, this is the last of such incidents related to the airline.

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