All passengers safe after Korean Air Airbus overruns runway in Philippines

G Tipene /

An investigation will be started after a Korean Air Airbus A330 overran the runway in bad weather at Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) in the Philippines.  

The incident with flight KE631, which was carrying 162 passengers and 11 crew from Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN), occurred on October 23, 2022, Korean Air confirmed in a statement.  

According to information from the Aviation Herald and Flightradar24, the aircraft, registration HL7525, was on its third landing attempt, having twice performed a go-around.  

After holding for around 30 minutes to the north-east of the airport, the crew started a third landing attempt.  While the Airbus touched down, it did not stop on the runway, instead finally coming to a halt some 300 meters beyond the end of runway 22.  

Pictures showed the widebody resting in the grass with severe damage to the underside of the aircraft.   

“A thorough investigation will be performed together with the local aviation authorities and Korean authorities to determine the cause(s) of this event,” Keehong Woo, President of Korean Air, said in an apology published online. “We always prioritize safety in all of our operations, and we truly regret the stress and inconvenience brought to our passengers.” 

Investigators will no doubt be looking at why the crew decided not to divert and whether there were technical problems that prevented the plane from being able to stop on the runway.  

According to a Reuters article, all the passengers were safely evacuated and no injuries were reported.  

CEB airport remains closed on October 24, 2022, while work is undergoing to remove the wreckage of the Korean Air aircraft from the runway area. Airport authorities told local media in a press conference they expect the hub will be able to open partially, for smaller aircraft, on October 25, 2022.  

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