By MATEUSZ MASZCZYNSKI
A Delta Air Lines jet bound for New York JFK was badly damaged after it was hit by an Aeromexico plane while waiting to take off in Mexico City on Monday.
The airport authority confirmed the crash, saying the incident happened between taxiways B and D when the wingtip of the Aeromexico-operated Boeing 737 collided with the horizontal stabilizer (which forms part of the tailfin) of the Delta Air-operated Boeing 757.
Photos posted on social media showed what appeared to be the Aeromexico plane’s torn-off wingtip embedded into the horizontal stabilizer of the Delta jet, although Mexico City Airport confirmed that there were no reported injuries.
A spokesperson confirmed that an investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the incident.
Both Delta flight DL624 and Aeromexico flight AM117 bound for Chihuahua were forced to return to the gate following the crash at around 3 pm on Monday. The Delta flight was subsequently cancelled, while Aeromexico managed to transfer passengers onto an alternative plane with an arrival delay of around three hours.
As noted by airline insider JonNYC on Twitter, data supplied by Flight Radar 24 appears to show that the Delta jet was waiting to take off on a slipway between two taxiways when the Aeromexico plane taxied past it on the main taxiway.
Investigators will determine whether the Delta pilots stopped too short in the slipway and whether more could have been done to prevent contact between the two aircraft.
Ground collisions such as this are relatively uncommon but aren’t unheard of. In fact, over the last few days, there has been a spate of similar incidents. Last week, the horizontal stabilizer of an Emirates Boeing 777 was badly damaged after it was hit by the wingtip of an Air Transat jet at Miami International Airport.
And on Sunday, the wingtip of an EVA Air Airbus A321 sliced into the nose of a parked Boeing 777 plane at Taipei-Taoyuan International Airport while it was being towed.