Saudia flight aborts takeoff at Chennai

A Jeddah-bound Saudi Arabian Airlines flight with 182 passengers on board aborted takeoff at India’s Chennai airport on Monday after the pilot detected smoke coming from one of its engines.

All passengers were evacuated from the aircraft and no injuries were reported.

“We are unaware of the flight details. Since we are operating four carriers, including Saudia, Nas Air and SAMA, we are trying to find out more information about the incident and when the plane and its passengers will arrive at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah,” said Khaled Al-Khaibari, a spokesman for the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

According to reports from India, the plane was taxiing on the runway for takeoff when the pilot detected smoke. He immediately contacted the control tower to steer it back to a parking bay.

There was no one to answer calls at Saudia’s public relations department in Riyadh.

Last month, a Saudia flight to the Indian town of Kochi was forced to return to Dammam’s King Fahd International Airport following a technical malfunction mid-flight. The pilot was forced to make a U-turn one hour into the flight after being alerted of a technical fault by the aircraft’s flight monitoring devices.

In May, a Saudia plane made an emergency landing in the southern Najran province after the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit. The aircraft carrying 79 passengers and crew was around 20 minutes into the flight from Sharourah to Riyadh when the pilot detected smoke and turned back.

In another instance, a flight on behalf of Saudi Arabian Airlines to Jeddah with 22 crew members aborted takeoff from Cairo at low speed.

The runway was closed for about 2.5 hours while debris was removed from the runway. The aircraft had brought 416 passengers to Cairo on a chartered flight and was scheduled to return to Jeddah without passengers.

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