Indian carrier, GoAir, returned to Delhi International Airport mid-flight after crew noticed that no navigation charts were on board.
The Airbus A320-200N, registration VT-WJA, performing flight G8-38, was an hour and 15 minutes into its route to Bangkok before crew members realized that there were no charts. AV Herald reports that the new VT-WJA was assigned to conduct only domestic routes, but due to maintenance issues, there was a last-minute swap, which caused the aircraft to take flight for Thailand.
The switch hindered the supply of the charts to the cockpit of the low-cost carrier’s newly assigned aircraft. While en route at FL350 about 270nm east-southeast of Indira Gandhi International Airport, the crew decided to head back to their departure airport. A GoAir spokesperson said that for safety purposes, the pilot decided to make a U-turn to receive the documents.
“All aircraft are equipped with these charts for navigational purposes at airports. This particular aircraft was recently delivered to GoAir and normally dedicated to operating within India on domestic routes,” the spokesperson told NDTV.
“It was swapped with the original aircraft to operate the Bangkok flight due to maintenance requirements and during that process the update of the navigation charts did not happen. Taking safety into account, the pilot elected to return to Delhi to ensure that the required navigation charts were on board,” he concluded.
Eventually, the charts were given to the crew and the aircraft left Delhi again after one hour and 15 minutes on the ground. The flight finally reached Suvarnabhumi Airport after a delay of three hours and twenty minutes. All 146 passengers were on board at arrival.
Thailand is one of four international destinations that GoAir services. Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the other international locations, with all 27 others in its network being domestic. The carrier is the fifth largest airline in India with 8.4% market share.
IndiGo remains the largest airline with a market share of 49%. SpiceJet follows, which holds a market share of 14.8%. GoAir was the most punctual airline with on-time performance in 91.8% of its flights across four metro airports of Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
The Mumbai based carrier recently received a milestone of 50 Airbus A320s. Similarly, they plan to add one A320 a month going forward, highlighting the fruitful expansion rate of the airline. Furthermore, the brand is part of the Wadia Group, one of the oldest institutions in India.
The history of the company dates back to the middle of the 18th century. The group aligned with the British East India Company and built ships that included the HMS Minden. Because of the company’s continued success, the chairman, Nusli Wadia boasts a net worth of $7 billion. The 75-year old’s other holdings include confectionary brand Britannia Industries and home textiles venture Bombay Dyeing.
Simple Flying reached out to GoAir for further comment on the incident, however, we had not heard back prior to publication. We will update with any further announcements.