Iberia A346 near Guayaquil on Mar 18th 2020, mayor orders runway incursion to prevent landing

Last Update: March 19, 2020 / 17:47:53 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 18, 2020

Classification
Incident

Airline
Iberia

Departure
Madrid, Spain

Aircraft Registration
EC-KZI

Aircraft Type
Airbus A340-600

ICAO Type Designator
A346

An Iberia Airbus A340-600, registration EC-KZI performing positioning flight IB-6453 from Madrid,SP (Spain) to Guayaquil (Ecuador) with no passengers and 11 crew, was enroute at FL410 about 230nm northeast of Guayaquil and about 90nm northeast of Quito (Ecuador) when the crew was forced to divert to Quito after the Mayoress of Guyaquil had ordered city vehicles to invade Guyaquil Aerodrome and occupy the runway to prevent the landing of the Iberia (as well as a later scheduled KLM) arrival. The aircraft landed safely in Quito.

Later the same evening a KLM Boeing 777-200, registration PH-BQI, was scheduled to perform flight KL-755 from Quito to Guayaquil and further on to Amsterdam (Netherlands), however, needed to skip Guyaquil and operated directly from Quito to Amsterdam.

Ecuador's government had agreed to both re-patriation flights of Spanish and Dutch citizens. The aircraft were set to arrive just with crew and no passengers and were to pick up their citizens. 170 Dutch citizens boarded the Boeing 777-200 in Quito. About 200 Spanish and Dutch citizens were waiting for their Iberia and KLM aircraft in Guayaquil.

The Mayoress claimed the Iberia aircraft was arriving with 11 passengers and stated, Ecuador's government had ordered nobody was allowed to enter or leave Guayaquil due to the Corona pandemic. Sending an aircraft with 11 passengers to enter Guayaquil would thus violating the law and endanger local population, in particular as the aircraft came from Spain, the current focus of Corona infections into Ecuador. She assumed responsibility for instructing city vehicles to br driven onto the runway.

The government stated that the flights had been coordinated with the Emergency Operations Committee, the only authority having jurisdiction over the airport and its operation at the time.

Ecuador's Ministry of Transport blamed Guayaquil's mayor's office for hindering coordinated air traffic within emergency operations and disobeying specific orders issued under emergency conditions, the city officials will be kept responsible. The government appeals to the sanity of the local authorities.

Ecuador's prosecution office have opened an investigation against the Mayoress of Guyauil claiming, she had no juridiction over the airport and endangered the foreign nationals, who had already moved to the airport.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 18, 2020

Classification
Incident

Airline
Iberia

Departure
Madrid, Spain

Aircraft Registration
EC-KZI

Aircraft Type
Airbus A340-600

ICAO Type Designator
A346

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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