Large plane crashes at end of runway, entire fleet of aircraft being removed from service

After two incidents involving the type, including a runway excursion, Korean Air is taking dozens of Airbus A330s out of service for inspections.  

Flight KE631, carrying 162 passengers and 11 crew from Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN), overshot the runway at Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) in the Philippines in bad weather after landing on October 23, 2022. Having gone around twice, the aircraft was on its third attempt to land.  

A week later, on October 30, another Korean Air A330, performing flight KE401 between ICN and Sydney in Australia, returned to ICN because of engine trouble shortly after takeoff. The crew shut down the engine after bangs and sparks were reported, and landed 35 minutes later.  

According to Yonhap, the South Korean flag carrier announced the inspections on November 2, 2022.  

“Korean Air is aware of the gravity of the recent events involving our A330 aircraft,” Woo Kee-hong told the transport minister and other airline executives during the safety meeting.  

“To address concerns and secure a safe operation system, we will carry out a full-scale, comprehensive safety inspection of our A330 fleet and seek an independent, external safety consultation.” 

In order to perform in-depth inspections, 24 widebody A330s will be removed from service in phases. In addition, Korean Air will retire six older Airbus A330s.  

At the meeting, the Transport Minister, Won Hee-ryong, urged the air carriers to take special measures to prevent similar incidents in the future. 

“Airlines must review everything from the ‘zero-base’ and start over with an attitude for an overhaul,” according to Won.