PHUKET: A Russian plane was finally removed from a taxiway at Phuket airport after it broke down during a takeoff attempt, forcing the cancellation of all flights from Saturday evening until early Sunday morning.
Airport management said its air traffic control staff spotted smoke from the right engine of the twinjet Boeing 767-300ER as it attempted to take off for Moscow at 4.30pm on Saturday.
After being informed of the smoke, the captain aborted the takeoff, managing to force the speeding plane to stop on the runway.
It took about 40 minutes to move the Azur Air plane to a taxiway intersection, where it blocked other flights from landing or taking off.
Subsequent repairs continued until 12.30am on Sunday, when the plane was moved from the taxiway junction. Flight services at Phuket airport then resumed.
The incident affected 47 flights, with some circling over the airport and then landing at Krabi, Samui and Suvarnabhumi airports instead, airport management said.
The Air Azur flight was chartered for 309 passengers and also carried 12 crewmembers.