DALLAS — A Boeing 727-200F (EY-627) from Astral Aviation experienced a runway excursion at Juba Airport (JUB) in South Sudan on April 28. The freighter was carrying more than 300 people. None were injured.
After landing on runway 13, the old cargo plane, which once belonged to Braniff, could no longer come to a stop in time before the end of the runway. While the reason for the incursion is not yet known, a Boeing 727 is intended to carry half of the passengers involved in the incident, not to mention that the aircraft in question is a cargo version of the jet.
The aircraft was coming from Paloich (HGI), Sudan, on a mission to evacuate civilians due to ongoing conflicts in the region. A South Sudanese businessman Bibi Ali and his wife chartered the 47-year-old cargo aircraft to evacuate refugees from the crisis area for charitable purposes in collaboration with non-profit organizations.
Juba Airport was closed briefly after the incident, which led to FlyDubai (FZ) Flight 611 being diverted to Entebbe Airport (EBB) in Uganda and a Kenya Airways (KQ) service being canceled. JUB resumed operations later in the afternoon.
The Boeing 727 operated its final passenger flight between two Iranian cities in 2019. Aseman Airlines (EP) was the last to operate the passenger variant of one of the most popular airplanes in commercial aviation history.
Sudan Conflict Continues
In recent days, an international operation to evacuate foreign residents has been taking place in Khartoum (the capital of Sudan) and surrounding countries, involving dozens of aircraft from various nations.
Civil aviation has played a significant role in helping local governments evacuate civilians, recalling Pan Am’s Mission 1965/31, whICH took place at Tan Son Nhat Airport (SGN) in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, six days before the fall of the city on April 30, 1975.
According to the WHO, there have already been 559 fatalities and thousands of injuries in the ongoing conflict between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese Government Armed Forces. Thousands of civilians from Sudan and other countries continue to cross the country on their way to South Sudan and other nearby nations.
More than a dozen aircraft based at Khartoum Airport (KTR) have been destroyed, according to recent reports, including a Saudia (SV) A330, SkyUp Airlines (PQ) Boeing 737-800, an Asia Cargo Airlines (GM) Boeing 737-300, and a Badr Airlines (J4) Boeing 737-800.
Stay tuned to Airways for updates on the Sudan conflict as it pertains to commercial aviation.