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Korean Air flight flew to Japan with mechanical damage: BAI

Korean Air flew a damaged plane in 2018 without being aware of it until landing in Japan, and then falsely reported that the damage happened after the flight, an audit report said Friday.

According to the report issued by the Board of Audit and Inspection, the South Korean flag carrier filed a false report to the Transport Ministry after discovering that its plane leaving from Incheon to Kansai, Japan, in April of 2018 had been damaged near the cover of the its engine inlet before take-off.

The airline had changed the location and the time of when the damage occurred in its report, the BAI said.

The audit found that Kansai Airport had discovered the damage and reported it to the Incheon International Airport Corporation. IIAC then passed the information on to Korean Air but was found to have not reported the case directly to the Transport Ministry as of November last year.

In response to the BAI report, Korean Air denied having falsely reported the case, explaining it filed the incident with the Transport Ministry within 72 hours, and that they had specified Kansai airport as the point of discovering the damage, as the details of the incident were not clarified at the time.

The airline later received 400 million won in compensation from IIAC as the damage was deemed to have been caused by the airport crew.

Meanwhile, the BAI said between 2017 and 2018, nine cases of accidents and negligence, were not reported to the ministry, including entering taxiways without due notice and a collision between a plane and a boarding bridge.

By Yim Hyun-su (