India to seize Bangladeshi aircraft for recovery of dues

The Raipur Airport managed by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) is all set to start the seizure process against an aircraft of Bangladesh based United Airways.

The aircraft was parked at Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda Airport with total outstanding dues of over Rs 1.5 crores for parking and other technical charges. According to Raipur Airport Director, on August 7, 2015, United Airways flight MD-83 took off from Dhaka to Muscat as per schedule with 173 passengers but as per available details with Raipur airport, “engine of the aircraft caught fire mid-air and aircraft was made an emergency landing at Raipur airport and since then, the flight has been parked at the airport and the company has not taken any concrete steps to address the issue till now.” There had been no casualties during the emergency landing. Communications with the airline company have been underway since then. Last year, the airline gave assurance to the Raipur airport officials that the company will clear all dues within nine months.

However, the nine months period to clear all the outstanding dues and take the aircraft back to Dhaka has ended last Friday. This issue was also raised to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) as the matter is related to two neighbouring countries. Since the flight was en route to an international destination, it was flying over 36,000 feet. For this, major airports from Kolkata to Raipur were taken in the loop to help the aircraft in landing after the pilot conveyed fire in the engine.