Emirates has said it will cooperate with investigations into a ‘near-miss’ incident close to the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.
The incident involved one of Emirate’s Airbus A380 aircraft on Friday last, travelling from Dubai to Mauritius, which came into close contact with an Air Seychelles flight travelling in the opposite direction.
The Emirates flight EK 703, flying at 40,000 feet, was cleared to descend to 38,000 feet by air traffic control; the crew read it back as 36,000 feet, which was not corrected by air traffic control, according to Aviation Herald.
Air Seychelles flight HM-54, an Airbus A330 from Mauritius (Mauritius) to Mahe Island (Seychelles), travelling in the opposite direction was at 33,000 feet when it was cleared to climb to 37,000 feet.
Both crews could see each other when the traffic collision avoidance system alert was initiated. Aviation Herald said the Air Seychelles flight right to avoid a possible collision. The aircraft safely passed each other around 14 kilometres apart.
A spokesperson for Emirates said, “Emirates has received reports of an event on 14th July 2017 in relation to aircraft separation involving flight EK 703 in Mauritius airspace. The matter has been reported to the respective air transport authorities and Emirates will extend its full cooperation to any investigation. The safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance.”
In its media statement, Air Seychelles praised the action of its pilot to avoid a possible mid-air collision.
“We commend our Captain Roberto Vallicelli and Seychellois First Officer Ronny Morel who were operating the HM054 flight from Mauritius to Seychelles on the evening of Friday 14 July 2017,” a spokesperson for Air Seychelles said.
“Their training standard and operating protocols immediately kicked in which demonstrates the extremely high standards of training which our Air Seychelles pilots attain. We highly commend them for what they have done.”