The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) will subject VietJet Air to special monitoring following an incident where an aircraft landed on a closed runway at Nha Trang’s Cam Ranh International Airport.
In a 25 December statement, the CAAV disclosed that the VietJet Airbus A320 was operating flight VJ689 on the Nha Trang-Ho Chi Minh City route. A few minutes into the flight the crew detected an unspecified “technical warning.”
The crew returned to Nha Trang and landed on a runway that has been completed but which has yet to open.
The flight occurred at midday. Meteorological data suggests that the sky was overcast, but visibility was good. The CAAV did not report any injuries or casualties among the passengers or crew.
A similar incident occurred on 30 April, when a Vietnam Airlines A321 also landed on the same closed runway, which was then under construction.
In the Vietnam Airlines incident, the aircraft landed incorrectly on what will eventually become runway 02R, as opposed to runway 02, which will become runway 02L. Online pilot forums suggest that the VietJet crew made the same mistake, although the CAAV did not furnish details.
The CAAV has suspended “all VietJet staff involved in the operation of this flight.” In addition, the carrier will be placed under “special monitoring,” and be temporarily forbidden from introducing new routes.
A subsequent CAAV statement on 27 December details the authority’s plans to monitor the airline from 28 December to 15 January 2019.
The investigation will examine areas such as flight preparation, ground servicing, maintenance, supplies, and the adherence to manuals. It will also include safety inspections on flights.
Should the agency be satisfied by 15 January, the regime will be lifted. If it is not satisfied VietJet will be subjected to what the CAAV refers to as a “special phase 2 supervision.”
The aircraft involved in the incident appears to bear registration VN-A695. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the CFM56-powered aircraft was delivered new October 2008 and is managed by CIT Aerospace. It operated with Cebu Pacific until 2014 at which point it entered service with VietJet.
This is the second recent landing incident involving the carrier. On 29 November a two-week-old VietJet A321neo suffered major damage to its forward undercarriage when landing at Buon Ma Thuot. The Goshawk-managed aircraft is still listed as in storage.