Nepal airport re-opens after four-day shutdown
AFP photosLacking more efficient vehicles and equipment, Nepalese officials have tried to tug a Turkish jetliner with regular trucks. They finally succeeded in their salvage efforts on March 7, the fourth day after the incident.
A Turkish Airlines jet skidded off the wet surface of the runway of the Kathmandu Tribhuwan International Airport on the early hours of March 4.
Airport officials said they planned to resume international flights on the morning of March 6, but they were not able to remove the aircraft even after 96 hours.
India sent a team to help the salvage efforts in Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world, to remove the Airbus 330. The teams put used tires on a regular truck while trying to tug the aircraft without damaging it, but initially failed in its efforts.
Finally, Kathmandu’s international airport reopened late March 7. "The aircraft has been removed and the airport is open for international travel," said the airport’s general manager, Birendra Prasad Shrestha. "We urge passengers to contact their respective airlines and check if they are operating flights," Shrestha told AFP.
Following the incident, all flights to and from foreign destinations were cancelled. The head of the civil aviation authority, Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, told AFP the four-day shutdown left some 21,000 passengers stranded in the Nepalese capital.
The nearest international airports are in neighboring India, and traveling there by road takes days.