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Montpellier Airport flights restart after plane almost landed in lake

Hundreds of flights were cancelled during the two-and-a-half day closure, affecting 10,000 to 15,000 passengers

Montpellier Airport was closed from Saturday (September 24) to Monday afternoon (September 26) Pic: David Ridley / Shutterstock

Flights are progressively resuming at Montpellier Airport after it was closed for two-and-a-half days following a minor plane crash that saw a cargo plane nearly end up in a lake on Saturday morning (September 24).

Read more: Montpellier airport closed until further notice after minor crash

The plane that was carrying post and parcels for the company West Atlantic ended up with its nose in the lake after issues with landing during storm conditions. No one was injured. 

The crash and the subsequent closure of the airport led to hundreds of flights being cancelled, impacting around 10,000 to 15,000 passengers. 

During the closure, the airline Air France-KLM set up coaches to transfer its passengers to Marseille’s airport, 150km away, while other airlines generally cancelled their flights while waiting for the airport to reopen. 

Flights resumed progressively on Monday afternoon following a major operation to remove the stranded plane. Passengers flying to or from Montpellier Airport are advised to check the status of their flight before travelling to the airport. 

Two huge cranes were required to lift and carry the crashed aeroplane away, which weighed over 50 tonnes. The operation was particularly difficult with the rescue team choosing not to drain the plane of fuel to avoid thousands of litres of it ending up in the lake. 

France’s investigation and analysis office (BEA) is looking into the cause of the crash. Air transport police are also investigating. 

Emmanuel Brehmer, head of the Montpellier Airport management board, described the incident as an “unfortunate accident, fortunately without any victims”. 

“The airport is fully compliant with safety standards, as are the company and the crews,” he said. 

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