British Airways is expecting to put a four-week old Airbus A350-1000 back into service on 23 January, after precautionary checks following a hard landing at Tel Aviv.
The aircraft (G-XWBD) had registered the abnormal landing as the aircraft touched down on runway 12 at about 05:30 on 20 January, following the BA163 service from London Heathrow.
Israeli ministry of transport chief investigator Gad Regev says the authority has obtained “all the clarifications and information which we required” from the UK airline, but declines to disclose further details.
FlightGlobal understands, however, that the aircraft underwent checks after the crew was alerted to the hard landing, and that the subsequent return flight was cancelled. None of the occupants was injured.
The aircraft – which was delivered to the carrier less than a month before, on 23 December – was ferried back to Heathrow on 21 January, and is due to resume service on 23 January.
While hard landings are not uncommon events, BA is likely to be exercising particular caution because the A350 is a new aircraft type, and is taking advantage of its Heathrow maintenance base to carry out detailed checks it would have been unable to perform in Israel.
The airline states: “After our aircraft experienced a hard landing into Tel Aviv, our highly-skilled engineers checked over the aircraft and it has since been flown back to Heathrow.”
Meteorological data from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport indicates rain and 11kt winds from the south around the time of the approach, subsequently becoming variable, but other circumstances which led to the hard landing have yet to become clear.
Original delivery of the aircraft to BA was held up after G-XWBD was damaged in an incident during completion of the aircraft at the Airbus production facility in Toulouse.