a large airplane parked on a runway

Male Airport Temporarily Closes After FlyDubai 737 Stuck on Runway

On 28th March 2023, operations at Velana International Airport, Male were temporarily halted after a FlyDubai Boeing 737 MAX became stuck on the runway after several tires burst upon landing.

The Boeing 737 MAX 9, with registration A6-FNC, was performing flight FZ1569 from Dubai, UAE to Male, Maldives. However, upon landing on Male’s runway 36, both of its right-hand main tyres burst.

Following the incident, the aircraft rolled out without further issues, before coming to a halt on the runway. The aircraft was disabled on the runway and all those on board disembarked the aircraft via stairs on the runway.

a close up of a machine
Up close image of the burst tires. Image: AviatorMaldives

During the incident none of the passengers and crew members sustained injuries, the official said.

“All our passengers and crew have safely disembarked the aircraft at the airport terminal. The safety of our passengers and crew remains our number one priority at all times.”

FlyDubai spokesperson

Flight Disruptions

As runway 18/36 is the only Asphalt runway at Male’s Velana Airport, normal operations were temporarily halted for a couple of hours. Multiple aircraft were held for hours and at least three incoming international flights were diverted to nearby airports.

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Image: AviatorsMaldives

Sri Lankan Airlines Flight UL115 from Colombo and Emirates flight EK652 from Dubai were diverted to Colombo, whereas IndiGo‘s flight 6E1127 from Bengaluru was diverted to Thiruvananthapuram. Some Maldivian flights operated by ATR aircraft were also diverted to nearby airports. Additionally, FitsAir flight 8D813 from Colombo was cancelled following the incident.

Moreover, Qatar Airways flight QR674 from Doha and an Emirates flight EK660 from Dubai were forced to hold for around 3 and 2.5 hours respectively before landing safely on runway 36.

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Qatar Airways Flight QR674. Image: FlightRadar24
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Emirates Flight EK660. Image: FlightRadar24

The runway was closed for about 3.5 hours before resuming normal operations at 5:45 pm local time.

Feature Image: AviatorsMaldives