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Fiji Airways Delays Repatriation Flight After ‘Prayer Garland’ Found in Aircraft Engine

Fiji Airways Delays Repatriation Flight After ‘Prayer Garland’ Found in Aircraft Engine

Fiji Airways has confirmed that it was forced to delay the departure of a scheduled repatriation flight on Thursday after “foreign objects” were found in the exhaust area of an Airbus A330 jet. The ‘foreign objects’ are believed to be a prayer garland known as Rudraksha.

In a statement, the airline said that the objects were found during standard pre-flight inspections being carried out by engineers at Nadi International Airport. Fiji Airways said the plane was immediately taken out of service and the flight delayed while an alternative plane was sourced.

“Fiji Airways has reported the matter to Fiji Airports Limited and Fiji Police, and understands the police are investigating,” a statement from the airline continued.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Fiji Airways is undertaking a thorough inspection of this particular A330 aircraft and all others parked at Nadi International Airport,” the statement continued.

“Safety remains Fiji Airways’ highest priority and the airline undertakes rigorous pre-flight inspections to ensure aircraft are operationally ready”.

The service was delayed by around an hour and 20 minutes following the discovery. By Thursday afternoon, the flight was already on the way back to Nadi from Sydney.

The incident is reminiscent of several ‘coin throwing’ incidents that have happened on Chinese airlines in recent years. In one case, a first-time flyer was ordered to pay $17,000 after being found guilty for throwing coins into an aircraft engine for luck.

In another case, Chinese carrier Lucky Air sued a passenger for throwing coins into an aircraft engine as part of a good luck ritual. The airline claimed the incident cost over $21,000 because engineering checks were immediately required and the flight had to be cancelled.

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