The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has suspended a VietJet Air dispatcher and flight crew flying 200 passengers to the wrong airport citing their failure to follow proper pre-flight protocol.
On Thursday, the flight VJ 8575 was supposed to take nearly 200 passengers from Hanoi to the Central Highlands resort town of Dalat; somehow, it landed at Cam Ranh Airport near the central beach town of Nha Trang.
When the passengers arrived at Cam Ranh, the low-cost carrier arranged another flight to take them to Dalat--their actual destination.
According to preliminary investigations by CAAV, the incident occurred because the low-cost carrier's dispatcher and flight crew didn't follow the proper pre-flight protocol.
Ho Minh Tan, head of CAAV’s Department of Flight Safety Standards, who headed the investigation, said VietJet Air changed its flight schedule but its dispatcher failed to inform the pilot.
VietJet Air had decided the Airbus A320 would continue to carry passengers to Dalat instead of Cam Ranh, as previously scheduled.
The ground service staff was aware of the change and boarded passengers who with tickets to Dalat onto the plane.
However, the flight crew was unaware of the change, inspectors said.
CAAV said their investigation is still underway.
On Friday, VietJet Air released a release stating that the plane's captain was forced to change course due to wind conditions at Lien Khuong airport.
The firm later retracted the statement, blaming its PR department.
Last month 59 VietJet Air passengers were nearly sent to Hanoi from Nha Trang, instead of their destination: Ho Chi Minh City.
The mistake was discovered before the passengers actually boarded the wrong aircraft.
The Cam Ranh Airport Authority blamed the incident on poor communication between ground service and airline staff.
Last year, VietJet Air transported more than 100 passengers from Nha Trang to Hanoi without their luggage. The passengers could not retrieve their belongings until the following day.
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