Two passenger planes of Eastar Jet reportedly returned to the airport after making an unreasonable decision on the flights to Busan amid a series of cancellations of air flights to the regions over the weekend under the influence of Typhoon Danas.
At that time, the pilots of the planes asked for a delay due to bad weather, but the company's general control office ignored the pilots’ opinion and forced them to go ahead with the operation. Against this backdrop, there is a growing criticism by pilots inside the company.
According to the aviation industry on July 24, the flight ZE291F bound for Gimhae Airport from Gimpo Airport on July 20 took off at 12:19 p.m., about an hour later than the scheduled time of 11:30 a.m. Since then, the flight has been on the outside around Gimhae Airport due to bad weather and eventually returned to Gimpo.
Also on the same day, the Flight ZE904 from Jeju, which was scheduled to depart at 10:05 a.m., took off at 12:40 p.m., but it hovered around due to bad weather at Gimhae International Airport before changing the course to Gimpo Airport.
The corresponding flight, which arrived at Gimpo, departed again for Gimhae at around 4 p.m. on the day when the weather improved and only arrived in Gimhae at around 5 p.m.
Until the morning, most airlines had cancelled and delayed flights due to Typhoon Danas that continued from the previous day. According to the Korea Airports Corp., 292 flights at airports across the country were canceled for two days from July 19 to 20 due to the influence of Danas.
The problem is that under these circumstances, the control room forced the captains of the flights in question to operate, even though they put off the operation. At that time, the pilots said they would operate in the afternoon when the weather improved under the TAF (Terminal Airport Forecast).
On the other hand, the control center reportedly demanded that the planes be airborne under the AMOS (Automatic Meteorological Observation System) and try to land when the weather improves temporarily.
Meanwhile, Eastar Jet explained that there was no problem as it was a result of its internal regulations made based on the aviation law.
"In case of domestic flights, if one of the current weather conditions and one of the expected arrival destinations meets the allowed criteria, we will decide on the operation," a company official said. "The control side decided to take Gimpo as the destination to fly back (if the weather continues to deteriorate) and supply additional fuel to operate the service."