A British Airways A320 diverted back to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) following a technical malfunction, with passengers reporting odd smells in the cabin members.
A British Airways flight departed London Heathrow Airport (LHR) on Thursday, December 29th,2022 just to turn back around shortly after departure and make an emergency landing.
British Airways flight
The aircraft reportedly had a technical malfunction prompting the pilots to announce an emergency and return to the point of origin. Thankfully the flight landed safely, and no passenger or crew members injuries were reported.
The flight in question was British Airways flight BA348. The flight was operated on an Airbus A320 registered G-EUYF. The planned route would have taken the passengers and crew to France’s Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) in just over 2 hours.
Around ten minutes after departure, the flight crew members issued squawk code 7700, the transponder code used by aircraft to announce a state of emergency. The aircraft then circled over southern London before returning to LHR. The airplane spent less than an hour in the air.
London Heathrow Airport
Upon coming to London Heathrow Airport (LHR), the airport fire department greeted the aircraft. After an examination, the airplane was permitted to taxi to the gate where passengers were deplaned safely. The aircraft left the gate at 17:41 local time and was deplaned around 19:00 local time.
A representative for British Airways declared to the public that no one was injured aboard the aircraft and that the diversion back to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) had been made as a safety precaution. The airline spokesperson reported to passengers that another aircraft had been dispatched to their location and that they would reach their final destinations as soon as possible.
British Airways has yet to release details concerning the incident and what caused the pilots to return to London Heathrow Airport. The airline has confirmed to the public that all actions are done with flight safety in mind and that the decision to divert was made by the pilots following their training to operate an aircraft as safely as possible.
A representative of the airline stated the following, “The aircraft landed normally after returning to London Heathrow Airport following reports of a technical problem. The safety of our passengers and crew members is always our priority.”
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Sebastian Mezeret, an off-duty pilot aboard the aircraft, shared on Twitter that he and other passengers noticed strange smells inside the cabin. He also said that the pilots donned oxygen masks during the flight. Mezeret reported that the visit from the fire department seemed casual, hinting that there was no significant threat to passenger safety once the aircraft was on the ground.
The airplane involved in this incident, registered G-EUYF, is an Airbus A320-200. The aircraft completed production and was delivered to British Airways in 2010.
Since then, the aircraft has stayed in operation with the airline. The 180-seat airliner has made almost 29,000 flight hours throughout its life. During the 12 years, the airplane has been in operation; it has not had any significant accidents and totes a clean title.
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