On the one hand, you’d expect fewer incidents involving planes nowadays, given how quiet the skies are. On the other hand, airports are crowded with grounded planes, so I guess it’s not too surprising to see an airport incident.
Two planes collide in Dubai
Early this morning two “heavy” aircraft collided on the ground at Dubai International Airport, and it doesn’t look like this is going to be a cheap fix.
The planes in question were:
- A British Airways Airbus A350-1000 with the registration code G-XWBA, which is British Airways’ first A350, and joined their fleet in July 2019
- An Emirates Airline Boeing 777-300ER with the registration code A6-EBR, which is a 13 year old plane
The British Airways A350 was about to operate BA106 to London Heathrow (a cargo only flight), while the Emirates 777 was parked, having operated its last flight from Riyadh to Dubai yesterday afternoon.
Pictures of the planes show significant damage, especially to the left horizontal stabilizer of the British Airways A350 — this won’t be a cheap fix.
British Airways A350K (G-XWBA) and Emirates B773 (A6-EBR) both got stabilizer damage in a ground collision while A350 was pushed-back at Dubai-Intl AP (OMDB). The return flight #BA106 to London was canceled. @airline_kitty https://t.co/W1N9UWHbNp pic.twitter.com/9alSzUP4cB
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) April 14, 2020
It’s not yet known exactly what happened, though the pushback tug is connected to the A350, so presumably that plane was being pushed back for departure.
It would appear that the Emirates 777 was just parked, so we don’t yet fully know how this happened. Was the pushback crew just not paying attention, was the 777 not parked where it was supposed to be, or…?
At least it wasn’t British Airways’ cursed A350
The A350 is a new addition to British Airways’ fleet, and British Airways only has five of these planes so far.
The plane with the registration code G-XWBD is British Airways’ fourth A350, and the plane does seem to be cursed. When I first heard that an incident happened with a British Airways A350, I assumed that plane was involved. Fortunately that wasn’t the case.
What makes G-XWBD so cursed? Even though the plane was only delivered to the airline in December 2019, it had several incidents:
- In November 2019 while the plane was still being manufactured by Airbus, it suffered damage from a piece of equipment in the factory
- In January 2020 the plane suffered damage from a hard landing in Tel Aviv
- In February 2020 the plane reportedly had a hydraulic failure on approach to Toronto
- In February 2020 the plane reportedly had a hydraulic fluid spill upon landing in London
I can’t imagine this is going to be a very cheap fix, either for British Airways or Emirates. It’ll be interesting to track both tail numbers and see how long these planes are on the ground in Dubai, and to see what an investigation reveals about this.