Asiana Airlines Sanctioned for Failing to Divert After Engine Warning

Asiana Facing Heavy Sanctions in Wake of SFO Crash | October 22, 2014

The South Korean government is considering heavy sanctions against Asiana Airlines after last year’s fatal crash of Asiana Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport. Korean aviation laws say that the airline could have its flight route between Seoul and San Francisco suspended for a period of between 45 and 135 days or face a fine of roughly 2.25 billion won ($2.1 million US).

Asiana is appealing to South Korea’s Transport Ministry for a lighter sanction, saying that suspending the lucrative route between Incheon International Airport and San Francisco would be disruptive for customers. The route suspension for a period of 90 days would cost the airline roughly 30 to 40 billion won.

Korean Air has criticized Asiana over their attempts at avoiding sanctions, saying that Asiana is trying to avoid responsibility for the fatal crash. In a press release issued last week, Korean Air said that if the government is inconsistent in handing out sanctions, it would jeopardize its own credibility.

According to the Korea Herald, Korean Air was subjected to heavy sanctions in the 1990s when one of their flights crashed in Guam killing 228 people. When the airline was denied air travel rights and faced a three-month business suspension, Asiana Airlines grew quickly by adding 34 new travel routes.

South Korean Government Plans to Sanction Asiana Airlines | April 24, 2014

The South Korean government plans to sanction Asiana Airlines for violating flight safety regulations on an April 19 flight from Seoul, South Korea to Saipan. According to Yonhap News, the flight crew of Asiana Flight OZ603 continued to fly for hours after discovering an engine problem, a violation of established safety precautions. Asiana Flight OZ603 was transporting 253 passengers.

The warning light in the cockpit indicated that there was a blockage in one of the engine’s oil filters. Rather than diverting to the nearest airport to address the safety issue, the pilots continued to fly for four more hours before landing in Saipan. Upon the plane’s arrival, ground crew engineers discovered that the oil filter in question was clogged with metallic particles. The engine had to be changed due to abrasion damage.

“The flight crew broke the rules, and the matter will be dealt with in a firm manner,” a Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport official said of the incident. A final verdict on the incident will be made by a flight safety committee made up of civilian aviation experts and government officials.

The incident calls into question the competence of Asiana flight crews in the aftermath of the July 6, 2013 crash of Asiana Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport. Asiana Airlines has admitted that pilot error was a possible cause of the crash.


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