DALLAS – A Korean Air (KE) Airbus A330-300 overran the runway today while attempting to land at Mactan–Cebu International Airport (CEB) in the Philippines.
The incident occurred during adverse weather, according to the carrier’s statement. The Airbus A330-300 had already attempted to land twice. According to the airline, no one was hurt.
Flight KE631, a 24-year-old A330-300 with the registration code HL7525, flew from Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN) to CEB. At 4:35 p.m., the 1,876-mile trip from South Korea to the Philippines came to a standstill. Cebu is known as “the Queen City of the South” and is the oldest city and the first capital of the Philippines.
Images of the aircraft reveal significant damage, including what appear to be large rips. Based on the angle at which the plane came to a stop, it appears that the front nose gear collapsed.
Korean Air took to Twitter to say that the incident was being investigated, tweeting, “Flight #KE631 departing from Incheon International Airport on 10/24 headed to Cebu Airport in the Philippines had an accident that diverted the runway due to worsening weather during landing at Cebu Airport…”
The airline would later tweet that “There were no injuries and all passengers safely evacuated the aircraft.”
Chronology of the Incident
The first 3h and 30 min of the journey went as anticipated, with the aircraft flying south over the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea before commencing its descent toward Cebu.
Unfortunately, the weather in Cebu was not ideal on Sunday evening, with heavy rain and low visibility. The A330 attempted to land twice, less than 15 minutes apart, but the pilots decided to go around each time because they couldn’t land safely.
Given the terrible weather, the jet entered a holding pattern at this point until the pilots tried a third landing approximately 40 minutes after the previous attempt.
The aircraft finally touched down but it did not stay on the runway, overrunning the runway before coming to a stop.
The evacuation took place via emergency slides, and emergency services rushed to assist those aboard the A330.
The type was delivered new to KE in June 1998 from the Airbus Toulouse facility.
Further Comments by Korean Air
The president of the airline, Keehong Woo, posted a message regarding the incident on the airline’s website. Woo stated, “I would like to extend my sincere sentiments regarding the Korean Air Flight KE631 incident at Mactan-Cebu International Airport on October 23, 2022.”
“A thorough investigation will be performed together with the local aviation authorities and Korean authorities to determine the cause(s) of this event.”
“We always prioritize safety in all of our operations, and we truly regret the stress and inconvenience brought to our passengers.”
“We remain committed to standing behind our promise of safe operations and will do our very best to institute measures to prevent any recurrence. Our overall goal is for our valued guests to trust that Korean Air will treat them well, and honor us with the opportunity to welcome them once again.”
Featured image: Korean Air Airbus A330-300. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways