KLM Says It Knows All About Shamshabad

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KLM is refuting a story, carried by news outlets all over the world, including AVweb, last week that said one of the airline’s crews refused to land at a new airport in Hyderabad, India, because they weren’t familiar with it. According to the airline, however, the flight was diverted because weather was below minimums. The MD-11 and its 232 passengers ended up in Mumbai and returned to Hyderabad the next day. “KLM was fully aware of the new airport. Flight 873 departed prepared for the new airport Shamshabad at Hyderabad,” KLM spokesperson Marisca Kensenhuis told AVweb in an e-mail. “In India the weather was below the published limits therefore the crew decided to go to an alternate airport. The passengers and crew stayed in hotels in Mumbai and left the next day for Shamshabad.” Although the newspaper that initiated the report pulled the story from its Web site, it did not publish a correction and KLM has AVweb reader Werner Fischbach’s curious nature to thank for restoring its reputation.

In a letter to AVweb, Fischbach said the reports he read in the German press didn’t ring true to him so he did what hundreds of professional journalists around the world didn’t: He asked KLM. Fischbach then thoughtfully contacted us and we confirmed the information he provided with KLM. The Times of India’s only acknowledgment of the incorrect report was a reference in an unrelated story about the new airport in which it mentions that the KLM flight diverted because of weather.