Passengers flying with Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) were warned to expect delays after one of the carrier’s jets was grounded on Saturday because of damage to the exterior, the company said yesterday.
The carrier said it found an 18cm scratch near a passenger door when the MD-82 jet was towed to the hangar at the Taipei International Airport (Songshan) after completing a flight from Taiyuan in Shanxi Province, China.
Since the damage could affect the aircraft’s ability to maintain cabin pressure while in the air, the decision was taken to ground the jet, the carrier said.
With one of FAT’s seven MD-82 and MD-83 jets already undergoing routine maintenance, the carrier said the newly grounded aircraft poses challenges for the company’s punctual operation, and that passengers are likely to face delays.
The company said it suspected the scratch was caused by the mishandling of the airbridge between the jet and the terminal building, based on findings from a reconstruction of the scene done early yesterday.
The Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Aviation Safety Council have been informed about the incident, the carrier said.
It added that further investigations will have to be performed to determine the actual cause of the damage.
Apart from its domestic flights and an international route serving Cebu in the Philippines, FAT operates mainly to several destinations in China.