A Eurowings Airbus A320 was briefly grounded in Heraklion, Greece earlier today. The aircraft was hit by a Swissport vehicle, causing a lengthy delay to the aircraft’s return to Munich.
Yesterday I wrote about how a rampant golf cart came within inches of crashing into an American Airlines Embraer yesterday. Thankfully, the quick thinking of a ground operative brought the vehicle to a halt before the aircraft was damaged. The same cannot be said, however, for an Airbus A320 operated by Eurowings in Greece earlier today. The aircraft faced a lengthly delay after its left engine made contact with a white Swissport ground services vehicle.
Today Eurowings’ Airbus A320 registered as OE-IEW was scheduled to make a rotation from Munich to Heraklion and back. The entire rotation was to take 6-hours and 25-minutes. However, while those heading to Heraklion were three minutes early, those heading back to Munich weren’t so lucky.
The aircraft touched down in Heraklion at 09:37, three minutes ahead of schedule. It was only scheduled to spend 45-minutes on the ground. However, this was not to be. The aircraft somehow collided with what Simple Flying thinks is a Fiat Panda.
As a result, instead of departing Heraklion at 10:25 as planned, the aircraft was temporarily grounded while the engine was inspected for any damage. Thankfully, either no damage occurred, or the aircraft was easily fixed. It did eventually take off at 14:48, four hours and 25-minutes late. As such, depending on the cause of the collision, passengers could be eligible for compensation under EU-261.
How did it happen?
Photos of the incident were shared on Facebook by an individual named Nikos Georgiladakis, whose post was shared by Aeronews. Looking at the photos, it looks almost as though the Airbus A320 has taxied into the vehicle. The only other explanation is that the Fiat Panda drove under the Airbus A320, which is not possible due to the heights involved.
It looks as though the only damage sustained was to the bonnet of the aircraft from the photos, in a manner consistent with the aircraft hitting the car. Thankfully nobody was hurt in the incident.
Simple Flying contacted Eurowings. The airline offered us the following statement regarding the incident:
I can confirm that an Airbus A320 (EW1809), more precisely the left engine, was touched by the bonnet of a Swissport vehicle at Heraklion Airport earlier today.
Nobody got hurt in this incident and as well there’s no record of any damage to the aircraft which has already been checked and released by Eurowings Technik. All of the 171 passengers booked on this flight (HER-MUC) were rebooked immediately and will touch down at this very minute at MUC Airport.
Were you onboard the Eurowings flight? What do you think happened? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!