Airline says sorry for damage

By John Weekes

An airline has apologised for wrecking runway lights and confirmed its Airbus landed with tyre damage after a wayward take-off from Auckland.

About seven runway lights were smashed as the Chilean airliner LAN flight to Sydney took off early on Saturday May 18.

New Zealand transport accident investigators and Chile's civil aviation authority were making enquiries.

"LAN Airlines regrets any inconvenience caused and is working closely with the New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission," spokeswoman Rachel Witham said.

Witham said the Chilean Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the airline's safety management team were also figuring out what caused the incident.

The airline would not say if any passengers had complained, whether flight crew were disciplined, or whether LAN would pay the estimated $2,500 damage. The smashed lights were made in Europe and were the property of Airways Corporation, a state-owned enterprise.

"LAN Airlines is committed to maintaining the highest standards of safety and operational protocols that seek to safeguard the welfare of its passengers and crew and takes all incidents relating to its operations seriously," Witham added.

- Herald on Sunday

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