Japan Airlines: Haneda Airport crash will cost it more than $100mn

The collision between a Japan Airlines plane and a coastguard aircraft in Tokyo this week will cost the airline more than $100mn in operating losses, it said.

Whilst the investigation into the crash continues, it was determined yesterday that the coastguard’s De Havilland Canada Dash-8 did not have permission to be on the runway at the time it collided with the airliner.

It came after the Japan Transport Safety Board had analysed the flight and voice recorders between the coastguard crew and air traffic control.

But the Dash-8 pilot, the only one of six crew members to survive the collision, told investigators he had been cleared to enter the runway.

Tokyo police are investigating whether professional negligence could have contributed to the crash.

The fatal incident marks the first time an Airbus 350 has been lost to an aviation disaster. It burst into flames after crashing into the coastguard plane at Haneda Airport – the Dash-8 was on its way to provide relief to parts of Japan affected by Monday’s earthquake.

The 379 passengers and crew onboard the Japan Airlines flight evacuated the aircraft on the runway, with a reported 14 people suffering minor injuries.

Describing the experience from “hell”, Anton Deibe, a 17-year-old passenger, told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet: “The entire cabin was filled with smoke within a few minutes.

“We threw ourselves down on the floor. Then the emergency doors were opened and we threw ourselves at them.

“The smoke in the cabin stung like hell. It was a hell. We have no idea where we are going so we just run out into the field. It was chaos”.

But the A350 was given permission to land at Haneda at the time of the incident, it has since been confirmed, despite the conflicting statement of the Dash-8 pilot.

Airbus said it has sent specialists to help Japanese and French officials investigate the accident.

Image credit: NHK