MIAMI — A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300(ER) was damaged yesterday at Rome–Fiumicino Airport as it pushed back for its flight back to Hong Kong. The aircraft’s right wing hit one of the airport’s floodlight poles, causing severe damage to the
The aircraft involved is B-KPY, a 6-year-old Triple Seven, which was delivered to the airline back in January 2012.
Photos show parts of the aircraft’s wing on the ground. Rome Aviation Spotters managed to capture the incident, showing the rear section of the raked wingtip partially wrapping the airport’s pole.
The airline confirmed that the aircraft “was involved in a towing incident in which one of its wingtips struck a standing pole.”
“The incident occurred when the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft was being towed by a truck operated by a local ground handling agent at the airport,” a Cathay Pacific spokeswoman stated.
This is one of Cathay Pacific’s re-configured 777s, which has been fitted with more seats in Economy Class. The airline has adopted the industry-wide 10-abreast seating configuration, fitting 368 passengers in Economy Class.
Cathay Pacific announced in February this year that it would increase its Hong Kong – Rome service to a daily flight on its higher-capacity 777-300(ER)s during the summer season.
For the winter season, however, the schedule drops to four-times per week with the airline’s new Airbus A350-900.
Bad Week For The 777
In less than seven days, two Boeing 777s have been damaged due to incidents on the ground.
On August 9, a Royal Air Maroc Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner impacted its right wingtip against the tail of a Turkish Airlines 777-300(ER) at Istanbul-Ataturk International Airport.
The Triple-Seven aircraft suffered significant damage on the lower portion of the APU’s casing, as shown by pictures taken by Airporthaber in Istanbul.
These incidents seem to be on the rise, especially during 2018. Hopefully these aren’t becoming a new norm within the aviation industry. It may be something where retraining of ground staff may have to occur on a significant level.