BERLIN, Oct 20 (Reuters) - The first plane due to operate long-haul routes for Eurowings, the budget arm of Lufthansa , is being checked after a section of the engine cover fell off during take-off on Tuesday.
The Airbus A330 is being used on the route between Cologne and Palma de Mallorca, ahead of starting long-haul services to the Caribbean, Thailand and Dubai from Cologne on Nov. 2.
The section of the engine cover was recovered from the runway after takeoff and the pilots informed. The plane was able to continue its flight safely and landed in Mallorca at 0658 GMT, the airline said in a statement.
“At no point were the 169 passengers and 13 crew in any danger,” Lufthansa unit Germanwings, which will be merged into the Eurowings brand next year, said in a statement.
The plane is being examined by maintenance group Lufthansa Technik and experts from the German BFU air accident safety authority.
It was not clear how long the examination of the plane will take and therefore too early to tell whether it will have any impact on the start date of the long-haul service, a spokeswoman for Germanwings said.
Lufthansa is expanding Eurowings, which will also operate short-haul routes, in order to try and take back market share lost to the likes of Ryanair and easyJet and tap into the growing market for price-sensitive leisure travellers. (Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by David Holmes)