(Updated with reopening of the airport)
LONDON, Dec. 29 (Reuters) – A Virgin Atlantic airliner bound for the United UNite who turned around because of a landing gear problem occurred Monday at Gatwick, near London, resulting in the closure of the airport for four hours.
On the television images, the Boeing 747 seems intact. After a somewhat hectic but steady landing, passengers who had flown to Las Vegas were evacuated by the stairs.
“Virgin Atlantic can confirm that the VS43 flight landed safely at Gatwick,” he the airline announced in a statement. “Our priority now is to take care of the passengers and crew.”
Until about 1900 GMT, no device has been cleared and aircraft to Gatwick been diverted to other airports.
Virgin Atlantic is 51% owned by its founder, British billionaire Richard Branson, and 49% by the American Delta Air Lines. (William James and Andy Bruce, Jean-Philippe and Agathe Lefief Machecourt for the French service)