On June 17, 2022, two flights operated by ITA Airways and Air France were due to take off from JFK towards European capitals. While ITA’s Airbus A330 successfully landed in Rome some eight hours later, Air France’s Boeing 777 remained on the ground in New York. Now, reports have began to surface suggesting that the two aircraft could have suffered a ground collision, raising questions about the Italian airline’s long-haul flight.
On June 17, 2022, ITA Airways flight 611 took off from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) for an eight-hour flight to Rome Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport (FCO) in Italy.
Meanwhile, Air France flight AF9, which was due to take off from JFK to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in France, was cancelled. The French airline’s Boeing 777, which arrived at New York a few hours earlier, remains on the ground.
The Aviation Herald reports that ITA Airways A330 and Air France Boeing 777 were involved in a ground collision, which left the French airline’s widebody damaged.
However, an audio recording has since emerged allegedly depicting conversations that took place between Air France’s flight crew and ground controllers, and later between ATC and ITA’s pilots.
In the recording, what is understood to be Air France flight crew can be heard explaining to ground control that it had been “hit” by an “Alitalia” plane and asking controllers to prevent the Italian plane from taking off.
In another conversation, the controller appears to explain the claims to ITA’s pilots, stating that the Air France crew said they had been hit ‘or something of that nature’, and asking if they have experienced any damage to the aircraft. ITA’s crew can be heard responding “Negative, Sir. Ciao”.
ITA management’s position that there was “no danger” to passengers onboard has been reported by Italian media.
ITA Airways Airbus A330 allegedly involved in the incident previously belonged to Alitalia and is understood to still have the previous airline’s livery.