Captain Babu reported that the aircraft system were operating normally but diverted the flight to Mumbai as "a precautionary measure", said an Air India official.
The Air Traffic Control contacted the pilots and questioned if the "aircraft might have come in contact with the wall".
Air India said the two pilots, who have more than 6,500 hours of flying experience between them, have been grounded, pending investigation.
The jet landed in Mumbai four hours later and pictures of the damaged aircraft went viral on social media soon after it landed safely. The aircraft, with 136 passengers and crew on board, was damaged on its belly. "The flight diverted to Mumbai and landed safely at about 5.35am in Mumbai and taxied on its own power to the parking stand".
But yet as a precaution, it was chose to divert the aircraft to Mumbai. "No one suffered any injuries", according to the Air India Express statement.
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The passengers were shifted to another aircraft at Mumbai to travel to Dubai. The pilot and co-pilot have been de-rostered till completion of the investigation. The First Officer was Capt. Anurag who has an experience of about 3000 hours on the B 737.
The fuselage or body of Boeing 737 aircraft which was carrying 136 passengers was extensively damaged, and officials stated it was a potentially unsafe situation.
Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday said the government had recently ordered an independent "airline safety" review of Air India.
"DGCA officers are at site for preliminary inquiry and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau officers have also been deputed", the minister tweeted.