Panaji: A Doha-bound Qatar Airways aircraft from Thiruvananthapuram made an emergency landing on Saturday morning at the Goa airport after its commander fell sick mid-air.
However, the co-pilot of flight QR 507 landed the plane safely, Qatar Airways said.
The plane landed at the Goa airport at around 7 am after getting the necessary clearances, said Airport Director BCH Negi.
"We received a message that the pilot on a Qatar Airways aircraft was feeling uneasy and that the plane sought permission for an emergency landing, which was granted after following all the procedures," he added.
Qatar Airways, in a statement later in the evening, confirmed the diversion of its aircraft to Dabolim airport here due to its pilot falling sick mid-air.
"We can confirm that flight QR507, operating on the Trivandrum-Doha route, was diverted to Goa International Airport early this morning, one hour and forty minutes after its departure from Trivandrum International Airport.
"Our pilot fell ill. As per the Qatar Airways' procedure in these instances, the aircraft was diverted to the nearest airport, Goa International Airport, where our well-trained First Officer landed the aircraft safely shortly before 07:00 local time," the statement said.
The airline subsequently dispatched a relief aircraft to Goa to ferry the stranded passengers to their destination. The new flight landed at Doha at around 1730 hours (local time), the statement added.