A flight attendant aboard an ANA flight this week suffered a fractured pelvis after a rough encounter with turbulence. The flight, which took place on Sunday 12th April, involved an All Nippon Airways Boeing 737. The aircraft continued to its destination and landed safely.
What are the details?
According to Aviation Herald, an All Nippon Airways Boeing 737-800, with the tail number JA64AN was performing flight NH-430 from Fukuoka to Osaka Itami on Sunday, April 12th. This is a domestic service within Japan which usually only takes around an hour.
The aircraft pushed back on schedule at 19:10 and proceeded to take off as normal. However, around a third of the way into the flight, the aircraft hit a patch of unexpected turbulence.
The aircraft was flying at approx. 27,000 feet, 60 nautical miles inland from Kochi, when it encountered the turbulence. Whilst all 26 passengers were seated at the time, one of the flight attendants was not. The individual was put off balance and landed badly, causing injury.
After the incident, the aircraft rose to 29,000 feet and proceeded to fly for another 40 minutes to land uneventfully at its destination in Osaka at 20:08. It appears the flight attendant suffered a fractured pelvis as a result of the incident.
Japan’s Ministry of Transport sent two investigators to examine the aircraft and the actions of the flight crew. They have not issued an official statement at this time, only saying that the seatbelt sign was not illuminated a the time of the turbulence.
The incident aircraft remained on the ground in Osaka for a couple of days, but has today flown to Sapporo and then to Tokyo, indicating there was no significant damage to the aircraft. All passengers and the rest of the crew are reported to be safe and well.
What is the state of ANA at the moment?
ANA, like all carriers in the world today, has been forced to radically reduce the size of its operating fleet and cut services. As a consequence of Japan’s declaration of a ‘State of Emergency’, numerous domestic routes have been cut to a number of destinations by ANA.
All Nippon Airways says it is cutting 1,742 flights over April. It will impact on 48 routes. Flights in and out of Tokyo Haneda will bear the brunt of these latest cuts. Flights in and out of Tokyo Narita, Itami, Kansai, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, and Naha are also being trimmed. You can read the full list of changes here.
Other consequences of the global travel downturn for ANA include reducing international routes and grounding its entire Airbus A380 fleet (used for flights to Hawaii). ANA is still awaiting delivery of its final A380 from Airbus, but may look to defer this delivery as the crisis drags on.
ANA has had to ground its fleet of A380s. Photo: ANAIt will be a long road for recovery for the Japanese airline industry, especially as the market place is so heavily rivaled by other carriers (such as low-cost-carrier Jetstar and now delayed Japan Airlines’ Zipair) as well as alternatives such as high speed rail.
This was supposed to be a massive growth year for the airline, with new partnerships to America and Australia and the Olympics set to propel the carrier onto the world stage. Now it seems eah day brings with it new restrictions that mean fewer ANA aircraft are flying and its unlimited growth appears to be at an end.
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