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Mon 22 Aug 2016 11:05 AM

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Emirates says mid-air incident averted in Indian airspace

Spicejet plane increases altitude ‘without clearance’, incident under investigation

Emirates says mid-air incident averted in Indian airspace

A possible mid-air collision was averted earlier this month after a Spicejet flight came into close proximity with an Emirates plane in Indian airspace, Emirates has confirmed.

On August 11, Spicejet flight SG511 from Hyderabad to Chennai climbed above its permitted 34,000 ft altitude without clearance from air traffic control, according to reports from India.

It was then asked to maintain 35,000 sq ft but overshot by a further 1,000 sq ft, placing it at an altitude at the time being maintained by overflying Emirates flight EK433 from Brisbane to Dubai.

The incident forced the Emirates flight to climb further and increase separation between the two planes, with both aircraft receiving alerts of proximity that may present the risk of mid-air collision, the Indian Express said.

An Emirates spokesperson told Arabian Business in a statement that passengers were at no point in any danger.

The spokesperson said: “Emirates can confirm that flight EK433 Brisbane to Dubai on August 11, whilst in Indian airspace, received indications of proximity traffic.

“The flight crew correctly followed the on board system guidance to remain clear, following which they reported the occurrence to Air Traffic Control.

“At no time were passengers in any danger - the safety of our passengers and crew as always is our top priority.”

The incident is reportedly being investigated, sources were quoted as saying.

Spicejet is India’s main domestic airline. Earlier this month, a near mid-air collision between two IndiGo planes from India was averted over Dhaka airspace one aircraft came too close to the other.

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