As if airlines, passengers and their vital cargo needed another spanner thrown in the works. A British Airways Airbus A350-1000 and Emirates Boeing 777-300ER have been involved in a ground related incident at Dubai International Airport, resulting in damage to both aircraft. The British Airways A350 is less than a year old, and was due to return to London today. That won’t be happening…
During the turn of an aircraft on April 14th, the tails of the Emirates Boeing 777-300ER and British AIrways Airbus A350-1000, collided at Dubai International Airport (DXB).
The British Airways A350, bearing registration G-XWBA, was the first of the new A350 fleet delivered this year, and marks a significant upgrade for passengers. The Emirates 777 is 13 years old and has been performing vital cargo and repatriation missions for the airline in recent weeks, including many to Seoul.
Damage to the horizontal stabilizers on both aircraft is significant and there’s worry that the frame could be impacted. For British Airways, this is the latest in a series of freak incidents involving the brand new A350 fleet, including four incidents in just three months for G-XWBD, another of the first four new A350 jets delivered to the airline.
To put it lightly, it’s going to be a long time before this plane flies again, particularly without the ability to move engineers and teams around to address the issue, due to global safety concerns.
It’s been a wild few weeks for aviation in the United Arab Emirates, including the complete shutdown of Emirates and Etihad for a brief period. The UAE has adopted stringent temporary immigration laws which currently only allow outbound passenger traffic, yet important cargo continues to flow.
For British Airways, this is a huge blow to the A350 program and it could not come at a worse time. Fortunately, no ground personnel are believed to be injured in the incident.