Four days before it begins operating with passengers, local low-cost airline Flybondi had to take to Twitter today to explain an incident that took place on Monday after one of its planes could not complete a test flight and was forced to return to the Pajas Blancas airport in Córdoba, only a few minutes after takeoff.
Importante: Flybondi comenzará sus operaciones el día viernes. Ayer, en uno de nuestros vuelos de prueba, se presentó una falla técnica menor. Como indica el protocolo, el avión volvió a la base. Este procedimiento es normal y la unidad no realizó un aterrizaje de emergencia.
— flybondi.com (@flybondioficial) January 23, 2018
“Important: Flybondi will begin operating on Friday. Yesterday, one of our test flights had a minor technical failure. As protocol dictates, the plane returned to base. This procedure is normal and the unit didn’t make an emergency landing.”
On Monday at 11:23 AM, flight FO2710 took off from the Ingeniero Ambrosio Taravella international airport (also known as Pajas Blancas), outside the city of Córdoba, some 700 kilometers to the northwest of Buenos Aires.
But according to the Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 logs, the plane was forced to land only 12 minutes later at 11:35 AM. The flight was scheduled to last some 20 minutes but, according to Infobae, a failure “forced the captain to interrupt the test flight unexpectedly and return to base.”
On board at the time of the incident were Flybondi staff, along with some friends and family. According to the news site, passengers weren’t aware a problem had been detected. A company representative told La Nación that the failure was related to one of the flight instruments.
The Argentine Air Navigation Company (EANA), a state company in the Ministry of Transportation, also said “no emergency signal” was received.
Flybondi’s first commercial flight is scheduled to take off this Friday at 3:10 PM from Córdoba to Iguazú. It’s already sold out.