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Aircraft collision at Tokyo airport: Japan Airlines estimates $100 mln losses

Aircraft collision at Tokyo airport: Japan Airlines estimates $100 mln losses Aircraft wreckage after the collision (Getty Images)

Japan Airlines (JAL) is bracing for losses exceeding $100 million following a collision incident at Tokyo's Haneda airport when its aircraft was burnt down, according to Reuters.

The collision involved a JAL Airbus A350 and a Coast Guard plane engaged in its third mission to deliver aid to earthquake-hit regions on Japan's west coast.

While all 379 passengers on the JAL plane managed to escape unharmed, five out of the six crew members on the Coast Guard plane lost their lives, with the surviving pilot sustaining severe injuries.

JAL estimates an operating loss of around 15 billion yen ($105 million) and is currently working with insurers for compensation. The incident is particularly notable as it marks the first-ever global loss of an Airbus A350 model aircraft, according to the Aviation Safety Network. The ongoing investigations involve multiple parties, including the Japan Transport Safety Board (JTSB) leading the safety inquiry, and the active involvement of 14 overseas investigators from Airbus, French and British authorities, as well as a representative from the jet's engine maker, Rolls Royce.

Investigations are actively underway to ascertain the circumstances that led to the Coast Guard plane entering the same runway where the passenger jet was landing. Transcripts from air traffic control indicate that the Coast Guard plane had been instructed to proceed to a holding point near the runway minutes before the collision, raising questions about possible professional negligence.

On the day of the accident, Haneda Airport was at full capacity as it was a public holiday in Japan. The airport, ranked as the world's third-busiest in 2023, experienced significant disruptions with numerous flight cancellations and delays, leaving many passengers frustrated.

The collision at the airport's runaway

On January 2, a Japan Airlines plane caught fire while landing at Tokyo's Haneda airport. Initially, authorities suggested a possible collision with a Coast Guard aircraft after landing. Later, the information appeared that all 379 passengers and crew on board were evacuated.