Japan Airlines (JAL) anticipates losses exceeding $100 million following the destruction of one of its planes in a tragic collision on the runway at Tokyo’s Haneda airport.
The incident involved a JAL Airbus A350 colliding with a smaller Coast Guard plane, resulting in the complete engulfing of the passenger jet in flames. While all 379 people on the JAL aircraft escaped unharmed, five out of six crew members on the Coast Guard plane lost their lives.
Investigations and Circumstances:
Transport authorities are investigating the circumstances that led to the Coast Guard plane entering the runway during the landing of the passenger jet.
Authorities have released transcripts indicating air traffic control’s instructions to the Coast Guard plane to proceed to a holding point near the runway just before the collision.
Japanese authorities noted that the passenger jet had land clearance, while the smaller plane was not authorized for take-off.
Safety Measures and Possible Contributing Factors:
Reports suggest that a strip of stop lights, designed to prevent incorrect turns, was out of service before the accident, according to a notice to pilots in effect.
Aviation experts highlight that multiple safety guardrails typically need to fail for such accidents to occur.
Japan Airlines estimates an operating loss of approximately 15 billion yen ($104.81 million) due to the collision.
The insurance coverage for the destroyed aircraft will mitigate the financial impact, with U.S. insurer AIG considered the lead insurer on a $130 million “all-risks” policy for the two-year-old plane.
Industry Impact and Flight Disruptions:
The tragic incident has led to numerous flight cancellations and delays at Haneda airport. Additionally, almost 200 passengers faced overnight delays at New Chitose airport, where flight JL516 originated, due to the disruptions caused by the accident.
Despite the challenges posed by the smoke-filled cabin, the crew of the JAL Airbus A350 adhered to emergency procedures, successfully evacuating all passengers within 18 minutes.
The incident highlighted the importance of preparedness and adherence to safety protocols.