New Delhi: A Vistara flight travelling from Mumbai to Delhi with 163 people on board made an emergency landing in Lucknow after it had just a few more minutes of fuel left.

Vistara’s Mumbai-Delhi UK 944 was hovering over Delhi for nearly 3-1/2 hours on Monday due to poor weather conditions following which it was diverted towards Lucknow. The aircraft also considered Kanpur and Allahabad (Prayagraj) as alternate airports.

However, the pilots declared ‘Mayday’ as the situation worsened with barely 10 minutes of fuel left. The air traffic controllers at Lucknow airport saved the day as flying to Prayagraj, the next nearest airport, would have taken at least 30 minutes more.

“The pilot who was operating UK944 flight and issued a ‘Mayday’ call on Monday has been grounded by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),” a source told news agency PTI.

On a normal occasion, an Airbus A-320 NEO which operated flight UK 944 has enough fuel for at least 60 extra minutes of flight that is used in such situations where the aircraft has to be diverted to alternate destinations.

A Vistara spokesperson stated, “The unexpected drop in visibility at the destination alternate was the main reason why the aircraft ended up in a low-fuel situation despite carrying excess fuel over and above the required Flight Plan Fuel as per regulations. Safety of passengers and crew was kept at the highest priority throughout the flight.”

The pilot flying the Vistara aircraft has been ‘de-rostered’ as per instructions of the regulator. (With PTI inputs)