Two passenger jets clipped wings at an airport in northern Japan this week as one aircraft was taxiing in heavy snow, prompting an investigation.
The incident occurred Tuesday evening at New Chitose Airport on the island of Hokkaido, involving a Korean Air jet carrying 289 passengers and crew and a Cathay Pacific plane with no one onboard.
According to Chitose airport officials, no injuries were reported after the planes made contact around 5:30 p.m. local time. The airport, located near Sapporo, has recently been impacted by winter weather, which likely contributed to the collision.
Both airlines confirmed the incident and said they were cooperating fully with authorities examining the causes. Korean Air stated that its aircraft contacted the Cathay jet during pushback procedures.
Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific noted its empty plane was stationary when struck by the moving Korean Air A330.
The Cathay Pacific flight that was hit had been due to depart for Hong Kong but was canceled following the episode. Alternative travel arrangements were being made for affected passengers.
Fire department officials indicated there were no immediate signs of fuel leakage or other issues apart from aircraft damage. However, the specifics of the collision continue to be analyzed as part of standard accident investigation protocols.
Recent Airport Safety Issues Examined After Fatal Crash
Inspection of safety standards has increased countrywide after a deadly collision between two aircraft at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on January 2nd.
In that incident, a commercial Japan Airlines passenger plane was struck by a government Coast Guard jet and burst into flames, leading to fatalities.
The problems in Tokyo and this week’s incident in Hokkaido have amplified existing concerns about congestion and aging infrastructure at some Japanese airports. It also highlights the risks of winter weather for aircraft maneuvering on taxiways and runways.
Aviation regulators emphasize that commercial flying remains extremely safe thanks to stringent training, maintenance and air traffic control requirements. However, analysts say Tuesday’s collision underscores why pilots require specialized skills for operating in snow, ice and low visibility.