VietJetAir has suspended two pilots who landed a passenger flight on the wrong end of the runway at a central Vietnamese airport last week despite air traffic controllers' correct instruction.
The no-frills airline also asked the two pilots to cooperate with the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) in the investigation into the incident, a VietJetAir representative said.
According to the authority, VietJetAir's flight VJ8856 from Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat Airport on October 16 landed on Runway 20, instead of Runway 02 end as was instructed by air traffic controllers.
"[The wrong landing] did not cause any consequence but the mistake was very dangerous," Lai Xuan Thanh, head of CAAV, said. The incident was categorized as having "high safety risk," he said.
Preliminary investigation shows that the crew had contacted the air traffic control station before landing and was instructed to land on Runway 02.
Both the crew and the controllers followed the protocol strictly, confirming and reconfirming the instruction to one another. Yet somehow the Airbus 320 still landed on Runway 20.
While the pilots were "completely" at fault, it's still not clear how they made such a mistake, Thanh said.
On June 19, another VietJetAir flight landed at an airport some 140 kilometers away from its destination.
The flight was supposed to take nearly 200 passengers from Hanoi to the Central Highland resort town of Da Lat, but somehow ended up at Cam Ranh Airport.