Flights cancelled after SAS plane accident

Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) has suspended all flights using Dash 8-400 planes after a second accident in the space of a few days.

Flights cancelled after SAS plane accident
Photo: de Havilland Q400, SAS Group

A plane flying from Copenhagen to Palanga in Lithuania on Wednesday night was diverted to Vilnius after a cockpit warning light was illuminated. The plane’s landing gear gave way during its emergency landing, in an incident remarkably similar to Sunday’s accident in Ålborg, Denmark.

“It was a similar accident to that in Ålborg, in which the landing gear gave way. I do not have any information about the exact order of events,” said Bertil Tenert, information manager for SAS Group.

A passenger on the plane told Dagens Nyheter:

“The engine stopped and one of the wheels was loose. The plane made an emergency landing on one wheel – you could hear the bang when it landed.”

All 48 passengers and four crew escaped unharmed, according to SAS.

The accident happened at 1:48 am local time. SAS decided immediately to stop all flights using the Dash 8-400 – a decision likely to affect many passengers travelling to, from and within Sweden.

“A large number of passengers will need to be rebooked or taken care of in one way or another,” said Bertil Tenert.

SAS Sverige has 7 Dash 8-400 planes. Thirteen SAS Sverige flights on Wednesday have been cancelled. Nine domestic flights and four international flights are affected.

“We will fix alternative transport for passengers. Some will be put on alternative flights and some will have to use buses or trains,” said SAS spokesman Mikael Lindberg.

Many passengers will suffer delays as a result of the changes. Others will be taken to alternative destinations. Passengers booked to fly from Stockholm to Kalmar will instead land in Ronneby, 100 kilometres away. People who planned to fly from Ornsköldsvik to Stockholm are being told to take flights from Umeå instead.

“We are asking customers to contact the company from which they bought their ticket. That could mean a travel agency or SAS,” said Lindberg.

SAS says that 103 departures in Denmark are affected by the decision to remove the planes from service. The plane, made by de Havilland Canada – now part of Bombardier Aerospace – carries 68-78 passengers.