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FAT expects flight delays after jet grounded due to damage

2012/04/22 15:38:40

Taipei, April 22 (CNA) Passengers flying with Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) were warned to expect delays after one of the carrier's jets was grounded Saturday due to damage to the exterior, the company said the following day.

The carrier said it found an 18-centimeter scratch near a passenger door when the MD-82 jet was towed back to the hangar at the Taipei Songshan Airport after completing a flight from Taiyuan in China.

Since the damage could have affected the aircraft's ability to maintain cabin pressure in the air, the jet was grounded, the carrier said.

With one of FAT's seven MD-82 and MD-83 jets already currently undergoing routine maintenance, the carrier said the newly grounded aircraft poses challenges for the company's punctual operation, so that passengers are likely to face delays.

The company suspected that the scratch was caused by the mishandling of the airbridge between the jet and the terminal building, based on findings from a reconstruction of the scene early Sunday.

The Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Aviation Safety Council have been informed about the accident, the carrier said, adding that further investigations are needed to determine the actual cause of the damage.

Besides its domestic flights and an international route serving Cebu in the Philippines, FAT mainly operates to destinations in China, according to the company's website.

(By Chen Shun-hsieh and Kay Liu)