New Delhi, August 6: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended the license of two pilots who tried to take off an aircraft from a taxiway parallel to the runway at Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh airport last week. Nearly 148 passengers (141 flyers and 7 crew members) were on board when the pilots mistook a taxiway for a runway, leading to the skidding of the aircraft onto an unpaved area. Also Read - This Winter Season, 44% Fewer Domestic Flights Than Last Year Approved by DGCA

Issuing a statement, Saudi Arabia’s Aviation Investigation Bureau (AIB) said,”The aircraft accelerated with full take-off power and exceeded the taxiway onto an unpaved area ending up close to the exit of taxiway (G4) north of taxiway (K). Visibility was high and no obstacles or foreign objects were found on the taxiway.” Also Read - Air India Express Crash: 'Flight Couldn't Land on Designated Runway', Says AAI Chief Arvind Singh

“Fire and rescue teams were rushed to the spot who carried out an emergency evacuation of all passengers and crew. Nobody suffered injuries,” the statement further reads. Also Read - ED Raids Jet Airways Founder Naresh Goyal For Alleged Money Laundering, Books Him Under PMLA

The airline in a statement had said,”As many as 148 people on board the Mumbai-bound Jet Airways flight escaped unhurt after the aircraft went off the runway following an aborted take off from there on August 3.”

“Jet Airways is in contact with DGCA&has extended all co-operation with regard to the said incident. The airline will continue to adhere to all requirements as laid down by the regulator. The matter is currently under investigation & we can’t comment on this issue,” ANI quoted a Jet Airways’ spokesperson as saying.

Notably, the incident took place on August 3 at around 12:30 AM (local time) when the Mumbai-bound flight 9W-523 tried to take-off from the taxiway.