Delhi-bound Air India flight returns to Bangkok after take-off due to ‘slats failure’

An Air India-operated Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft returned to Bangkok in Thailand Tuesday, shortly after its take-off as the plane’s system sent out a “slats failure” warning, according to sources.

The aircraft, on its way back to Delhi operating flight AI333, had climbed to around 6,000 feet after taking off at 1.28 pm local time – an hour after its scheduled time.

“The pilots saw a slats failure warning and decided to turn the aircraft back to Bangkok. The aircraft was checked by the maintenance crew in Bangkok and cleared to fly to Delhi. It departed at 5.03 pm local time,and is expected to reach Delhi at 7.25 pm IST,” one source said.

An Air India spokesperson refused to comment. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is looking into the incident.

The airline had recently faced another technical snag with its Dreamliner plane. Last month, a 787 plane with around 260 people on board suffered cabin depressurisation, while flying from Dubai to Kochi. The aircraft was cruising at 37,000 feet when the issue occurred and saw oxygen masks being deployed with some of the passengers suffering nosebleeds.

In Tuesday’s incident, the warning message pertained to the aircraft’s slats. According to Skybrary, slats are extendable, high lift devices on the leading edge of the wings of some fixed-wing aircraft. Their purpose is to increase lift during low-speed operations such as takeoff, initial climb, approach and landing.