Those responsible for Montpellier airport can take a breather.
Air traffic resumed on Monday afternoon, two and a half days after a cargo plane left the runway, airport management announced.
The delicate operation of freeing the device, which had found its nose in a pond, was successful.
“Two and a half days will have been necessary for several hundred actors (…) to evacuate the damaged Boeing and create the conditions for the resumption” of traffic, underlined in a press release the company managing the airport located on the Mediterranean coast. , in the south of France.
✈️ Gradual resumption of activity: after 2 and a half days of traffic suspension generated by the runway exit of a cargo plane, the airport is gradually resuming its activities.
We invite travelers to check the status of the flight with their company.
— Montpellier Airport (@MPLaeroport) September 26, 2022
Using two giant cranes, the plane had to be lifted, rotated, then towed to the tarmac to be towed to the edge of a hangar.
“In total, nearly a hundred people were mobilized throughout the operation,” said a press release from the Hérault prefecture.
#WestAtlantic #Boeing737 lift operation successful ✅.
➡️ Removal of the device is still in progress.
All teams are working to allow activity to resume as soon as possible.#Montpellier #aerien pic.twitter.com/rEdMO3Ehvq
— Montpellier Airport (@MPLaeroport) September 25, 2022
It was then necessary to "Auscultate the track, (to) be certain that this incident (has) no material consequences which could lead to an additional accident", also explained to the press, Emmanuel Brehmer, the boss of the airport platform.
Tens of thousands of passengers affected
On Monday, “a first flight from Copenhagen landed at 1:30 p.m. (11:30 GMT).
After him, all the other flights not canceled, not relieved or not diverted by the companies will also resume, ”according to the airport which sees up to 197,000 passengers transit per month in the summer season.
"The ballet of arrivals and departures has indeed resumed," confirmed a spokesperson.
During the closure, a hundred flights and "10,000 to 15,000 passengers" were impacted, said Emmanuel Brehmer.
The airline Air France-KLM had chosen to transport its passengers by coach to Marseille airport, 150 km away, while other carriers have generally canceled their flights pending reopening.
The accident occurred overnight from Friday to Saturday.
The aircraft, a regular West Atlantic flight carrying mail and which landed every night at the same time on the Montpellier tarmac, ended its journey at 2:36 a.m. in the Mauguio pond located at the end of the runway, the nose partly submerged.
The three people on board are unharmed.
"The investigations of the Air Transport Gendarmerie are continuing under the authority of the public prosecutor, as well as the investigative work of the Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA)", indicates the prefecture.
The plane will remain immobilized during the investigation, according to the management of the airport.