Initial analyses of a mechanical issue on a flight at takeoff from Kathmandu on Monday showed a bird strike, according to airline flydubai on Wednesday, although the business would further investigate the engine.
The United Arab Emirates carrier’s account of the incident was deemed “misleading” by Nepal’s civil aviation regulator on Tuesday, which questioned if the flydubai plane had been struck by a bird strike while flying through Nepali territory.
The airline had said a flight carrying 167 passengers from the Nepali capital Kathmandu to Dubai experienced a bird strike during take-off late on Monday.
“Flight FZ 576 … landed normally in Dubai International (DXB) after experiencing a technical issue upon take off from Kathmandu, the initial assessment suggested a bird strike” a flydubai spokesperson said on Wednesday.
“After following standard operating procedure, the flight crew determined that the engine was within normal operating parameters and continued the onward journey to Dubai. Further inspection of the engine is being carried out,” they added.
A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) said one of the plane’s engines had caught fire shortly after take-off from Kathmandu, and that CAAN had set up a technical committee to investigate.
The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority did not respond to a request for comment on the incident.
Flight 576 on the Boeing 737-800 plane landed normally in Dubai Monday night.
Flights by flydubai to Kathmandu Airport (KTM) are operating to schedule, the company said.
Mountainous Nepal has a history of deadly air crashes. It suffered its worst one in 30 years in January this year, which killed all 72 people aboard an ATR 72 aircraft operated by Yeti Airlines.