BRASILIA, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian carrier Azul Monday announced the cancellation of 450 flights at one of the nation's busiest airports, after a damaged cargo plane blocked its only landing strip.
An MD-11 cargo plane blew a tire late Saturday as it landed at Viracopos airport in Sao Paulo state, causing the cancellation of landings and take-offs, airport authorities said.
Early Monday, airlines provided buses to take passengers with scheduled departures from Viracopos to alternate airports in Sao Paulo, including Congonhas and Guarulhos.
Officials began removing the 130-ton plane from the runway Monday afternoon, but the airport was not immediately reopened as the runway needed to be cleaned and inspected first.
Some 70 workers were required to move the cargo plane, including five Fire Department units.
The operation of Viracopos airport is in a transitional process, as it was in the hands of Brazil's state-owned airport administration Infraero before it was formally conceded to the private sector earlier this year.
Azul, which operates out of Viracopos, said over 25,000 passengers were affected by the incident, with all flights at Viracopos canceled since Saturday, as well as those scheduled for Tuesday, in order to allow delayed flights to be regularized.
Azul accounts for 95 percent of flights at Viracopos.