Talk about flying off course.
A group of Buddha Air passengers were probably not so happy to leave their domestic flight in Nepal – at the wrong airport.
On Friday afternoon, 69 passengers boarded flight U4505 from Kathmandu, en route to the southern city of Janakpur, reports The Kathmandu Post. However, incorrect communication between ground personnel and flight crew resulted in the pilots flying northwest to Pokhara – approximately 230 miles from the intended destination.
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Birendra Bahadur Basnet, the managing director of the Nepalese airline, lamented the situation and said that Buddha Air is already investigating the incident. Another official of the carrier criticized the confusion over less than ideal weather conditions, which exacerbated the flight delays at Kathmandu airport earlier in the day.
“There was incorrect communication between the ground staff and the pilots,” the unnamed official told Posten. “The flying pilots did not look at the passengers’ manifesto either.”
Although a flight attendant reportedly informed the passengers that the plane was on its way to Pokhara, not Janakpur, nothing could be done, as the plane was already airborne.
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“It’s a professional error … or a human error, you might say,” Basnet explained. “Our internal committee will recommend an appropriate system so as not to repeat the mistake in the future.”
For what it’s worth, Tri Ratna Manandhar, former director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, claimed that a Nepalese plane had not flown to the wrong place since 1993.