Blue Air plane slips off the runway at Romania’s Cluj airport

A plane operated by Romanian low-cost carrier Blue Air went 10 meters off the runway when making a landing at the Avram Iancu International Airport in Cluj-Napoca on Thursday morning, January 7. None of the plane’s 116 passengers and crew members was injured.

The Blue Air plane was performing a charter flight on the route Bucharest Otopeni – Cluj-Napoca – Barcelona. “There were 100 passengers on board and six crew members. All the passengers were disembarked in normal conditions, being transferred to the departure terminal where they receive support from the company and the airport. CIAS (the Center of Investigation and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety) has opened an investigation,” reads a Blue Air statement.

The airport was temporarily closed after the incident, which is likely to cause delays for other flights. The airport’s managers and the airline’s representatives had divergent statements about this incident.

According to Blue Air, “the landing was done in difficult weather conditions,” as it was snowing and there was snow covering the surface of the runway. Blue Air said that the data it had received before the flight from Romania’s aeronautical authority ROMATSA indicated that the braking conditions on the runway of the Cluj-Napoca Airport were medium to good, but that after the plane landed the company received new data that showed that the braking conditions were not that great.

On the other hand, the airport’s representatives said that the conditions for landing on the runway were good and that the pilots were aware of them. According to the airport’s manager, David Ciceo, the pilots had requested the landing as the plane was running out of fuel, according to Mediafax.

Blue Air denied this information. “The plane had enough fuel and we firmly reject the statements according to which the landing was an emergency one determined by low fuel,” reads Blue Air’s statement.

The company took the planes 100 passengers and the 45 it was supposed to pick up from Cluj-Napoca to Sibiu, from where another plane will take them to Barcelona.

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Irina Popescu, irina.popescu@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Aeroportul Internațional Avram Iancu Cluj on Facebook)