A cargo plane belonging to the West Atlantic Airlines overshot the runway at Montpellier this morning. The Boeing 737 was arriving at Montpellier Airport from Paris’ Charles De Gaulle (CDG) when the accident happened.
All passengers and crew were able to evacuate safely as there was no reported casualties in this incidence. France’s BEA has launched an investigation into the cause of the accident.
All flights to the Montpellier Airport have been suspended while rescue and recovery efforts take place. Airlines expected to arrive at this airport have been redirected to neighboring Airports until the suspension is lifted.
In the past, the airline has had several incidence, some of which were in fact fatal. For example, on January 8, 2016, a Canadair CRJ200 aircraft operating as West Air Sweden Flight 294 crashed and instantly killed the two pilots on board. The aircraft departed Oslo-Gardermoen Airport and was cruising at 33,000ft when it issued a Mayday call. The aircraft’s vertical speed was over 21,000ft/minute before it slammed into the ground.
Also, on May 22, 2020, the airline’s BAe ATP-F with registration number SE-MAO had a hard landing at Birmingham Airport. This landing resulted in a runway excursion as the aircraft only came to a halt 1,350ft (450m) from the end of the runway. However, there were no casualties and no damage to the aircraft during this incidence.
The aircraft involved was a Boeing 737-400SF (Freighter) with registration number EC-NLS. West Atlantic Airlines has 10 of the Boeing 737-400SF freighters on its fleet. Other types of aircraft operated by this carrier includes 40 BAe ATP-F, 6 Boeing 737-300SF, 3 Boeing 737-800BCF, 3 Boeing 767-200SF, and 2 Bombardier CRJ200BF.
West Atlantic Airlines is a cargo airline that is parent to two other cargo airlines: West Air Sweden and West Atlantic UK. West Atlantic Airlines was founded in 2011 and currently operates a fleet of 64 aircraft.
The airline specializes in the transportation of mail, dangerous goods as well as regular freight. The airline employs about 700 employees bringing in about 150 million euros annually.
Routes and Destinations Served
The airline’s main hub is in Malmo Airport. From here, it serves destinations such as the Marseille Airport, Gardermoen, the Oslo Airport as well as the East Midlands Airport.