SINGAPORE: A Singapore Airlines flight bound for Singapore from London’s Heathrow Airport was diverted to Frankfurt, Germany after it experienced a technical issue on Thursday (Nov 24).
Flight SQ317, an Airbus A380 aircraft, was carrying 379 passengers and 27 crew members on board, Singapore Airlines said in a statement.
Flight tracker FlightRadar24 showed that the flight departed Heathrow at about 11.20am (London time) and was scheduled to arrive in Singapore at 7.50am on Friday.
The carrier added that the flight “landed uneventfully” at Frankfurt Airport at about 2pm local time with all passengers and crew on board.
FlightRadar24 said on Twitter that the flight jettisoned – or dumped – fuel while diverting to Frankfurt.
This procedure is used by aircraft in some emergency situations before returning to the airport shortly after takeoff, or if landing short of the intended destination, to reduce weight.
Media outlet AviationSource said the flight declared an emergency over Europe while en route to Singapore.
It quoted flight tracker website RadarBox as indicating a sharp descent, “potentially pressurisation or medical/priority emergency”.
At about 12.55pm (UK time), it was noted that the flight was approaching Frankfurt Airport, where it landed safely shortly after.
A Twitter user, identified on her profile as Bea, posted photos from inside the cabin and said they were exiting the plane.
“Engineers said (it’s) a serious issue and can’t get the spare parts,” she said. In another tweet, she said hotels have been booked for the passengers and coaches are waiting to transport them.
User RowanJ posted that his girlfriend, who was on the flight, said it was being “abandoned”.
“Problems more serious than (we) thought,” he wrote, quoting her. “Technical can’t fix. Disembarking to a hotel. No idea what next.”
All other flights are “very busy” so there was limited rebooking available at the time, the tweet said.
“Arrangements are currently being made to assist all customers,” Singapore Airlines said. “SIA sincerely Apologies for the inconvenience this has caused.
“The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority.”
In September, an SIA flight from Paris to Singapore was diverted to Baku, Azerbaijan due to a “technical issue”.