Home Finance Japan Airlines Plane on Fire on at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport

Japan Airlines Plane on Fire on at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport


(Bloomberg) — An Airbus SE A350 aircraft operated by Japan Airlines Co. caught fire at Haneda Airport in Tokyo following a ground collision with a smaller plane, with all on board able to escape before the widebody was destroyed by the flames.

The 379 passengers and crew on board the A350-900 passenger jet were safely evacuated, an airline spokesperson said. Five of six crew on a Japanese coast guard plane that collided with the bigger jetliner were unaccounted for, while one escaped, NHK said.

Footage from the airfield outside the Haneda airport building showed the Airbus jet approaching at higher speed and then colliding with the other aircraft before skidding on in a trail of flames. The JAL jet could be seen tilted forward with a collapsed front landing gear, flames licking from its windows and smoke billowing over the fuselage as fire services battled the blaze. Later footage showed the entire aircraft engulfed in a massive blaze.

Flight JL516, operated by a two-year old Airbus A350-900 jet, took off from New Chitose airport near Sapporo at 4:27 p.m. local time and landed at 5:47 p.m, according to FlightRadar24.

Airbus said it was in contact with the airline but had no further information at this time. Japan Airlines operates a fleet of 16 smaller A350-900s, seating either 369 or 391 passengers, that it currently operates in so-called high density domestic configuration. The carrier has been operating the type since 2019.

The advanced A350 is Airbus’s flagship aircraft that entered into service in 2015, equipped with fuel-efficient Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines and a lightweight, carbon composite fuselage. JAL has also ordered the larger A350-1000 model. 

The aircraft, if lost, would be the first A350 hull to be destroyed by an accident. The smaller coast-guard aircraft was carrying aid to the earthquake-hit parts of Japan following Monday’s quake that toppled buildings in the Noto Peninsula on Japan’s northwest coast.

Haneda airport was closed after the accident. FlightRadar24 shows more than 110 flights scheduled to arrive at Haneda on Tuesday evening either canceled or diverted to airports including Tokyo Narita airport.

–With assistance from Go Onomitsu, Siddharth Philip, Nicholas Takahashi and Jon Herskovitz.

(Updates with footage from blaze, JAL fleet)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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