A HYD bound Air India Boeing 747 jumbo jet with 397 passengers on board had to return to JED 20 minutes after takeoff on Friday.
According to one passenger, the side door on the aircraft's right suddenly began opening.
“There was a deafening noise, which caused panic among the passengers. The crew immediately informed the cockpit and an emergency landing was requested,” a passenger told the Headlines Today channel.
“The fuel tank was full since the aircraft had just taken off and so the fuel was dumped in the air and a critical emergency landing was made.” An Air India official in Jeddah confirmed the incident but disputed the “dramatic” version narrated by the channel.
“Yes, it is true that Jeddah-Hyderabad AI Flight 964, which took off at 1:30 a.m. on Friday from Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport, had to return to its station of origin because the cockpit panel indicated that one of the doors was not properly locked,” Feroz Khan, Air India manager in Jeddah, told Arab News on Saturday.
“However, the door remained shut until touchdown,” he said. “If the door were to open midair at 30,000 feet as is being claimed by the television station, the resulting decompression would have sucked everything and everyone out,” he explained.