12. 08. 2005 - CSA statement about night flight from Madrid to Thessalonica
Prague, 12 August 2005
Shortly after the take-off of a CSA Boeing 737-400 on the Madrid-Thessalonica (and return) charter flight, the captain of the aircraft taking off just after the CSA flight reported large pieces of rubber on the airfield. As the CSA airplane was one of the last departing airplanes, an undercarriage flat tyre was believed to have possibly occurred. Upon consulting CSA Operations Control in Prague and the CSA Technical division, the airplane’s captain decided to divert to Prague-Ruzyne Airport. Even though the defect was only suspected, CSA requested the Czech Airport Authority to be on full alert should a flat tyre be confirmed. The crew properly instructed all passengers and upon taking the maximum safety precautions, the airplane landed safely at Ruzyne Airport around 3 a.m.
An immediate technical check proved that the aircraft was completely safe and no flat tyre had occurred. CSA provided the passengers with maximum care at the VIP lounge and they then continued their flight to Thessalonica on the same airplane at 6 a.m.
The passengers waiting for their return flight at Thessalonica also received complete care, including hotel accommodation.
The entire crew and all CSA ground departments showed great professionalism, as well as did all other airport units participating in the emergency alert.
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If the media wish to use this information, Czech Airlines requests strict observance of the facts and accuracy in reporting – especially the avoidance of any unprofessional speculations and unverified information from unofficial sources.