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Emirates plane cleared to fly after mid-air plunge

India's Civil Aviation approval for Boeing 777 to make Dubai return.
NEWS, Aviation

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Emirates Airline said on Monday that the aircraft involved in a mid-air scare over India had been cleared to return to service.

An investigation was launched by aviation authorities on Sunday after 23 passengers and crew on a flight from Dubai to Kochi suffered minor injuries when the plane hit an air pocket.

The Boeing 777 encountered heavy turbulence while cruising at 35,000 feet prior to descent into India.

The UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said it was coordinating with Emirates Airline and Indian Civil Aviation Authority to investigate the reason for the "serious incident".

Majid Al Mualla, senior vice president, Commercial Operations West Asia & Indian Ocean, said: “A replacement aircraft carried passengers on EK531 - the return flight - to Dubai yesterday.

"The Boeing 777-200 involved in the incident has been cleared to fly by India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation and will return to Dubai at 11am (2pm UAE time) today with crew only.”

The GCAA's preliminary report said that of 23 people injured, three were crew members and all injuries were classified as minor (sprains, bumps & bruises).

A team of doctors examined all those passengers who suffered shock and bruises when the aircraft landed in Kochi, the airline said.

An air pocket is a downward air current that causes an aircraft to lose altitude abruptly. It is a localised region of low air density or a descending air current, causing an aircraft to suffer an abrupt decrease in height.

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