Holiday plane overshoots landing at Newcastle Airport

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A holiday passenger plane overshot as it landed on a runway in snowy conditions at Newcastle Airport.

It happened just before 2100 GMT on Thursday when it travelled a short distance past its runway stop position, but remained on the hard surface.

Passengers were allowed to leave the Thomson Fly Boeing 737-800 and no injuries were reported.

The plane, with 189 people including an infant, was returning from Arrecife, in Lanzarote. The airport has reopened.

'Plane shuddered'

An airport spokesperson said the plane, which is operated by TUI, was towed away from the runway and was undamaged.

Allen Young, a passenger on the plane, said he thought the incident was a result of poor weather conditions.

"The pilot indicated we would not be able to land and we circled for 10 minutes until the runway was cleared with a snow plough. Twenty five minutes later we started to descend after circling.

Image caption,
No passengers on the plane were hurt during the incident

"The plane started to shudder after we hit the runway. The pilot was putting on the brakes... we quickly realised we were over the front of the runway and the front end of the plane was in the field.

"People didn't realise how serious it was until we got off the plane," he said.

An airport spokesman said the plane did not overshoot the runway and remained on the Tarmac at all times.

A statement from Newcastle Airport said: "We can confirm that at approximately 2100 this evening [Thursday] a Thomson Fly Boeing 737-800 aircraft came to a halt at the eastern end of the Newcastle International Airport runway.

"The aircraft was returning from Arrecife. The front nose wheel of the aircraft remained on the hard surface of the runway at all times."

'Extremely rare'

Passengers left the aircraft by stairs where the plane came to a halt and they were taken to the terminal by buses.

The airport said it was looking internally at what had happened.

In a statement, Thomson Airways said: "The airline would like to reassure customers that incidents of this type are extremely rare and that their safety is our first priority at all times.

"As is normal practice, the airline will be conducting a detailed investigation into this incident."

Tyne and Wear Fire Service said the aircraft "had gone very slightly off the runway" but remained on the asphalt.

Fire service group manager Keith Carruthers said firefighters assisted the airport fire service with the emergency and helped the passengers leave the plane using the stairs.

"They seemed fine in all honesty, it's just they were disembarking in a different position. Most of them did not realise anything was different."

The Air Accident Investigation Branch is starting an inquiry.

A statement on the airport's website said passengers should arrive at the airport as normal on Friday but contact their airline with any concerns.

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