ACCIDENT | An Ethiopian Airlines plane with 139 people onboard, including crew, overshot the runway toward the southern approach at Entebbe International Airport Thursday morning.
No passenger was injured in the 5am incident, the airline said in a statement, adding that the passenger plane was on a scheduled flight from Addis Ababa to Entebbe, but “skidded off the runway by a few metres.”
“Passengers and crew aboard were safely deplaned and were taken to the terminal and cleared normally through the regular clearance process. There is no damage to the aircraft and it is being towed to the ramp,” the statement reads in part.
It remains unclear the cause of the incident although some people speculate that it could have been due to a badly timed landing.
Some passengers took to Twitter to demand an explanation for the landing accident.
“Ethiopian Airlines, we deserve an explanation, for the poor landing at Entebbe and near death experience you just put through. It’s been two hours and no official communication,” tweeted Patrick Muhereza.
Ethiopian Airlines responded to Muhereza with statement but did not say what could have possibly gone wrong during the landing that saw the plane stuck in a gravel section and needing to be towed away to the ramp.
The regional airline said an alternative flight is being arranged to complete the return flight and re-book the passengers, who were booked to travel from Entebbe to Addis Ababa.
“We apologise to our esteemed valued customers, who were on board the flight for the inconvenience. The cause of the incident is under investigation,” it said.
#ethiopianairlines @flyethiopian @EthiopianAir_ZA we deserve an explanation, for the poor landing at EBB and near death experience you just put through. It’s been two hours and no official communication… pic.twitter.com/fKoROEYDUz
— Patrick Muhereza (@patrezah) January 2, 2019
Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Authority said the incident has affected inbound international flights and that concerted efforts in liaison with Ethiopian Airlines and other stakeholders were underway to ensure removal of the aircraft from the runway end, and resumption of normal flight operations.
Ethiopian Airlines was crowned the Best Airline in Africa by Skytrax for 2018, retaining the award it won the previous year.
The airline has 100 planes in service and is the regional leader in the skies.