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Korean Air and Cathay Pacific Jets Collide at Hokkaido Airport, Japan

January 17, 2024
Korean Air and Cathay Pacific Jets Collide
Photo: CNN

In a harrowing incident at Hokkaido’s New Chitose Airport (CTS), a Korean Air plane clipped wings with a Cathay Pacific jet on Tuesday amid heavy snow, raising concerns about airport safety just weeks after a fatal aircraft collision in Tokyo.

The collision occurred around 5:30 p.m. local time, with no reported injuries, according to the airport operator. The Korean Air jet, carrying 289 passengers and crew, came into contact with the empty Cathay Pacific plane during pushback on the snow-covered tarmac.

The incident comes on the heels of a fatal collision at Tokyo’s busy Haneda airport on January 2, where a Japan Airlines jet burst into flames after colliding with a coast guard plane. The safety of airport operations has been under increased scrutiny in Japan in the aftermath of that tragic event.

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Both Korean Air and Cathay Pacific took to social media to confirm the incident. Korean Air acknowledged that one of its aircraft had “come into contact” with the Cathay plane during pushback and assured that they are “cooperating with all relevant authorities.” Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific stated that its stationary plane, with no passengers or crew onboard, was “struck by a Korean Air A330 which was taxiing past.”

Cathay Pacific flight 583 from Sapporo to Hong Kong was canceled as a result of the collision. The Hong Kong-based carrier assured affected passengers that they would be accommodated on additional flights later in the day and on the following day. Two flights flying the same route are scheduled for Wednesday.

As investigations into the incident are underway, aviation authorities and industry experts are closely monitoring the situation to determine the causes and contributing factors of the near miss, and to ensure the implementation of necessary safety measures at airports across the region.

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