Chinese Airline Sanctioned Over Emergency Incident

Posted August 30th, 2011 at 5:35 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese aviation authorities have penalized a domestic airline after one of its pilots refused to yield to a Qatar Airways jet attempting to make an emergency landing earlier this month.

Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines has been ordered to reduce its flights by 10 percent, and has been temporarily barred from expanding or obtaining aircraft.

The Qatar jetliner was on a flight from Doha to Shanghai's Pudong Airport on August 13 when it was diverted to the city's Hongqiao Airport due to bad weather. The crew requested an immediate landing at Hongqiao because it was running low on fuel.

But the pilot of the Juneyao plane disobeyed six orders from air traffic controllers to give way, claiming he was also low on fuel. The controllers eventually had to rearrange landing orders for other planes to allow the Qatar jet to land safely.

An investigation found the Juneyao Airlines jet had enough fuel to remain in the air for an hour, while the Qatar plane had enough fuel to continue flying for 48 minutes.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has permanently banned the Korean-born Juneyao pilot from flying in the country, and suspended the co-pilot's license for six months. The CAAC has also suspended Juneyao from recruiting foreign flight staff.