The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft was being towed by a truck at Leonardo da Vinci – Fiumicino Airport to a departure gate in the morning.
The right hand wing of a Cathay Pacific Airways Boeing 777-367ER sustained serious damage after impacting a floodlight pole during pushback at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, Italy.
The aircraft arrived as flight CX293 from Hong Kong at 07:20 local time. The aircraft parked on remote stand 835. That same morning the aircraft was to be towed to a departure gate for boarding of the return flight back to Hong Kong (CX292).
During towing, the right hand wing was backed into a floodlight pole, causing severe damage. There were no personal injuries.
A photo from a source showed the area of the wing known as the “outboard aileron badly mangled, exposing crushed aluminium and composite material.”
“The incident occurred when the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft was being towed by a truck operated by a local ground handling agent at the airport,” a spokeswoman said.
Separate images posted on a Rome-based aviation spotting Facebook page showed the wing of the six-year old Hong Kong-registered aircraft “B-KPY” firmly wedged into the pole.
An engineering source at the airline who viewed photos of the incident said the damage was fixable, but it would not be an easy job.
The plane was highly likely to be “grounded for a good while”, the source said, indicating the need for a complex repair job at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport.
The airline is the only one that flies daily between the two cities, and the outbound flight from Hong Kong usually arrives in the morning, with the return flight departing Rome at 1.05 pm local time (7.05 pm Hong Kong time).
On Wednesday, a notice to passengers due to fly on CX292 said “due to operational constraints, this flight will not be carrying passengers”.
Cathay Pacific said: “The airline is actively arranging alternatives for passengers to travel to their final destinations.”