An Asiana Airlines A380 has caught fire whilst being refueled at an airport in Korea. The aircraft, details of which are unknown at the time, was parked at the gate at Seoul Incheon today when the far left engine, number one, caught fire.
Shocking video of A380 on fire
Shocking footage has emerged of the Asiana Airlines A380 at the gate at Seoul Incheon Airport. Smoke and flames appear to be spewing out of the number one engine (outer left) as it is parked at the terminal.
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) October 18, 2019
Reportedly the aircraft was undergoing refueling when the incident happened. Firefighters can be seen trying to tackle the blaze, as unknown material burns on the ground behind the engine. The cause of the fire is, as yet, unknown.
According to Planespotters, Asiana operates a fleet of six A380 aircraft with an average age of 4.6 years.
The aircraft involved appears to be HL7634, an Airbus A380 which was delivered to Asiana in May 2015. Configured in three classes, this A380 carries a total of 495 passengers (12 in first, 66 in business and 417 in economy). It’s powered by four Rolls Royce Trent 970 engines.
HL7634 arrived last night from New York on service OZ221. The flight landed around an hour and a half behind schedule but was otherwise uneventful.
Disruption to flight OZ745
According to FlightRadar24, the aircraft was preparing to operate flight OZ745 to Hong Kong from Seoul. The service was scheduled to take place at 19:50 local time but is currently listed as ‘delayed’. The airport has estimated the delay as being for 60 minutes.
Clearly, the delay will likely be a whole lot longer than 60 minutes judging by the video. It’s likely that HL7634 will need extensive inspections if not some pretty costly repairs before it will fly again. However, as the incident happened at Asiana’s home airport, this shouldn’t be too taxing as the airline will have its own mechanics and spares on site.
However, Asiana does have another option. HL7635, another of the airline’s A380s, is showing as being on the ground at Incheon, having arrived from Frankfurt at 11:51 this morning. Should the flight to Hong Kong be largely sold out, this A380 could replace the damaged aircraft like-for-like.
Alternatively, if the flight was undersold, one of the airline’s smaller planes could perform the service to get passengers booked onto OZ745 to their destination.
This is a breaking story. More information will be added as it becomes available.
More trouble for Asiana
This news comes hot on the heels of a raft of other trouble for Asiana. The debt-laden carrier has been cutting costs in a bid to return to profitability, in addition to looking for a new buyer. It seems it’s in demand, however, as at least four parties have so far expressed interest.
Aside from this, Asiana has recently been slapped with a punishment for the crash landing of flight 214 in 2013. The airline will be forced to suspend its San Francisco route for a period of 45 days at some point in the next six months.
Asiana Airlines has been contacted for comment on today’s incident. We’ll update this post as we learn more.