Qantas A380 flight to London makes emergency landing in Azerbaijan

A Qantas A380 flight enroute to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) had to make an emergency landing on December 23, 2022 in Azerbaijan’s Heydar Aliyev International Airport  (BYD).

QF1, a Sydney – London route via Singapore, departed Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN) at 00:.44 on December 23, 2022 and was expected to arrive in LHR airport 14:15 the same day.

Real-time aircraft flight tracking website Flightradar24 showed that around 9½ hours after QF 1 departed Singapore, the aircraft made a 180 degree turn near the border of Georgia. 

Flightradar24 also said that the aircraft was ‘squawking’ – that is, issuing a 7700, which is the code for an emergency – before making an unscheduled landing at Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku.

According to Baku Airport’s Facebook page, QF 1 sent an emergency landing request to Baku airport due to ‘smoke generated in the cargo compartment’.

‘The plane landed successfully at 07:08 local time, there were no injuries during the accident. There were 356 passengers on the plane,’ Baku airport has stated.

A Qantas spokesperson confirmed the incident to The Straits Times

“Our flight from Singapore to London has made an unscheduled landing at Baku airport in Azerbaijan after pilots received an intermittent fault indicator in the cockpit. Engineers will inspect the aircraft prior to it continuing its journey.” the spokesperson said. 

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