Vietnam carrier apologizes for accidentally sending flight to Nha Trang

By Mai Ha, Thanh Nien News

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Low-cost carrier VietJet Air issued a public apology on Sunday for flying 200 passengers to an airport some 140 kilometers away from their destination, last Thursday.
The airline said that the incident was caused by a miscommunication between the flight’s dispatcher and pilots.
The airline said it is working with the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) to identify who is responsible for the error.

Photo: Mai Vong
The VN692 airplane was supposed to fly from Hanoi to the Central Highland resort town of Da Lat but somehow ended up in Cam Ranh Airport near the central beach town of Nha Trang.
On Saturday, the CAAV suspended the flight’s coordinators and crew.
When the passengers arrived at Cam Ranh, VietJet Air arranged another flight to take them to their actual destination.
The carrier has withdrawn its initial explanation, which blamed bad weather conditions for forcing pilots to reroute the plane.
In its latest press release, VietJet Air blamed its PR staff for failing to collect complete and accurate information before releasing the statement.
CAAV chief Lai Xuan Thanh said the plane was accidentally rerouted to Dal Lat because another aircraft broke down.
The flight operations coordinator informed all relevant teams, except the flight’s Czech captain.
Although regulations require that the captain sign two copies of the flight manifest, one given by the dispatcher and another from the ground service supplier, before departure, the captain in this case never raised an inquiry after the flight operations coordinator failed to present a manifest.
He also failed to read the copy provided by the ground service supplier and was unaware that the plane had been rerouted, Thanh said, adding that the captain also failed to hold a meeting with his crew before boarding.
As such, the captain followed the initial plan unaware of the changes.
Although the incident was caused by multiple mistakes made by multiple parties, VietJet Air must take final responsibility, and if passengers can demonstrate damages caused by the error, they can file a lawsuit, Thanh said.
Flight operations coordinators are typically employed by the company to coordinate information from the ground crew and air traffic controllers. In Vietnam, ground service providers are either companies who belong to the Airports Corporation of Vietnam or Vietnam Airlines, the national carrier.
In this case, those individuals have yet to be identified. 

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