A Sunwing Boeing 737 MAX 8 became stuck on a runway in Cuba, prompting the authorities to temporarily close the airport.
According to The Aviation Herald, the aircraft was taxiing to the runway at Holguin Frank Pais Airport (HOG) for flight WG645 to Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport (YUL), Canada. However, as the aircraft was lining up, its right landing gear touched the runway shoulder, sinking into the asphalt. The aircraft became stuck, closing HOG for a brief period.
Videos shared on X (formerly Twitter) showed the aircraft immobilized on the runway at HOG.
Per the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Federal Notice to Air Missions (NOTAMs) System or FNS, a NOTAM was issued at 2:09 am UTC (10:09 pm local time) on August 30, 2023, warning operators that the airport was closed.
The NOTAM expired at 4:00 pm UTC (12:00 pm local time), on August 31, 2023.
According to flighradar24.com data, HOG had 10 scheduled flights for August 30, 2023, but only four flights were tracked by the service, compared to nine scheduled and seven tracked flights on August 23, 2023.
At the time of publication, three flights are scheduled to leave HOG on August 31, 2023, the earliest being VivaAerobus flight VB413 to Cancun International Airport (CUN). Meanwhile, a Condor flight to Montego Bay Sangster International Airport (MBJ), Jamaica, departed HOG at 5:56 pm local time on August 30, 2023.
“While taxiing for takeoff the aircraft entered the stop way off of the runway at Frank Pais Airport in Holguin, Cuba. There were no injuries to any customers or crew on the aircraft,” a Sunwing spokesperson said in an email to AeroTime.
They added that “customers were deplaned and supported with accommodations for the night”.
“Sunwing Airlines also notified the appropriate regulatory agencies as is standard protocol for these situations,” the representative concluded.
UPDATE August 31, 2023, 4:30 PM (UTC +3): The article was updated with a statement from Sunwing.