India ATC tries to divert Air Canada Dreamliner despite four Mayday calls following two diversions


An Air Canada Boeing 787-9, reg. C-FGEI performing flight AC46 (dep Sep 18th) from Toronto (Canada) to Mumbai (India) with 177 passengers and 14 crew, was on approach to Mumbai being cleared for the approach to Mumbai, when ATC cancelled the approach clearance due to a runway excursion by another aircraft (see Incident: Spicejet B738 at Mumbai on Sep 19th 2017, overran runway on landing).

The aircraft initiated a missed approach at 3800 feet MSL and entered a hold at FL070, then FL080 and FL100. After about an hour the crew decided to divert to their planned alternate airport and set course, however, shortly afterwards ATC told the crew that the alternate was unable to accommodate them due to being at maximum capacity.

The crew consulted with dispatch and decided to divert to Hyderabad (India). The aircraft climbed to FL250 and was en route to Hyderabad when ATC told them, that Hyderabad also was unable to accommodate them due to being at maximum capacity.

The flight crew declared Mayday due to being low on fuel, however, ATC instructed them to enter a hold and tried to divert them several times before giving them a direct route to Hyderabad following the fourth (!) Mayday declaration. The aircraft landed on Hyderabad’s runway 09L 118 minutes after aborting the approach to Mumbai.

The Canadian TSB reported:

“The operator reported that ATC continued trying to divert the flight or attempted to place it in another hold. The flight crew had to declare MAYDAY four times before ATC cleared them for the approach into VOHS. The TSB is in contact with India’s AAIB.”



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