Kuwait Airways Boeing 777 Required Assistance To Vacate Runway

A Boeing 777 has had some performance trouble leaving the runway in Lahore, Pakistan, after landing. The large plane had to be towed by ground crew to turn around to exit the runway, delaying landing flights by approximately 20 minutes.

A Kuwait Airways Boeing 777-300ER. Photo: John Taggart via Wikimedia

How did the plane get stuck?

Kuwait Airlines flight KU-203 landed a regular operation between Kuwait City (Kuwait) and Lahore when the plane ran into some trouble. The Boeing 777-300 (tail number 9K-AOH) completed the landing successfully and came to a slow crawl on the runway when it realized it had passed the apron and couldn’t turn around.

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According to the Aviation Herald, the plane resumed taxi speed on the ground with the full intention to use the turn pad at the end of the runway. However, when the large plane reached the end, it started its turn and ran out of room, coming to a halt and blocking the runway for further landing and takeoff traffic.

The pilots had to call the tower and request assistance, with ground crews speeding towards the aircraft in haste to help it complete a three-point turn. The aircraft took around 20 minutes to turn around and then proceed under its power back to the terminal.

The plane would go on to fly its return flight without issue.

Why did the plane fail to make a turn?

It’s not entirely the pilots’ fault. The runway that the aircraft landed on is not the main runway of Lahore’s airport – rather a secondary one which is in use while the main one is under maintenance. Thus bigger planes like the Boeing 777-300 don’t normally use the run pad, and the aircraft was warned as such when the tower cleared it to perform the operation.

It is unknown at this time what the conversation must have been like, but we can imagine that the crews of both teams might have been a little embarrassed asking for a tow. But Lahore’s tower might be used to it considering a similar incident back in 2014 when a Boeing 777-200’s wheels got stuck in the runway and needed a tow.

Fortunately, no one was hurt in this event and the following aircraft traffic was only delayed by 20 minutes as the crews got to work.

What is Kuwait’s Boeing 777-300 like?

Kuwait Airways operates a fleet of eight Boeing 777-300ERs, all delivered since 2016, and are the biggest aircraft in its fleet.

Kuwait has configured the 777s with 334 seats in three cabins. First class has eight seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, just shy of 80 inches of seat pitch. Then in business, there are 36 seats in a 2-2-2 configuration with 78 inches of seat pitch. Lastly, there are 290 seats in economy in a 3-3-3 configuration (thankfully not 10 seats across) with up to 32 inches of seat pitch.

Simple Flying has had the pleasure to fly twice onboard the Kuwait Boeing 777-300, in both Business and Economy:

What do you think about this situation? Could the pilots have done more? Let us know in the comments.