SINGAPORE: A Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight bound for Singapore from London’s Heathrow Airport was diverted to Frankfurt, Germany after a cabin pressure issue was discovered.
Flight SQ317, an Airbus A380 airliner, had 379 passengers and 27 crew on board, SIA said in a statement on Thursday (Nov. 25).
“The pilots decided to divert to Frankfurt as a precaution after discovering a problem with the cabin pressure,” said an airline spokesperson.
Despite the technical problem after takeoff, no oxygen masks were deployed during the flight, according to SIA.
Flight tracker FlightRadar24 showed the flight departed Heathrow at about 11.20am (London time) and was due to arrive in Singapore at 7.50am on Friday.
The airline added that the flight landed “unmoved” at Frankfurt Airport around 2pm local time with all passengers and crew on board.
The aircraft was later grounded for repairs and affected customers were assisted with hotel accommodation and meals.
A relief flight, SQ9326, departs Singapore at 8am on Friday and arrives in Frankfurt at 2pm the same day.
The flight is expected to depart Frankfurt at 3:55pm local time as SQ9325 and arrive in Singapore at 11:05am on Saturday.
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 close to their intended destination, to reduce weight.
Media outlet AviationSource said the flight had declared a state of emergency over Europe en route to Singapore.
It quoted the flight tracker website RadarBox as indicating a sharp descent, “possibly pressurized or medical/priority emergency”.
At about 12.55am (UK time), it noted the plane was on approach to Frankfurt Airport, where it landed safely shortly afterwards.
A Twitter user, identified as Bea on her profile, posted photos from inside the cabin saying they were exiting the plane.
“Engineers said (it is) a serious problem and can’t get the spare parts,” she said. In another tweet, she said hotels have been booked for the passengers and buses are waiting to take them.
User RowanJ posted that his girlfriend, who was on the run, said it was “abandoned”.
“Problems more serious than (we) thought,” he wrote, quoting her. ‘Technically it can’t be solved. Get off to a hotel. No idea how to proceed.”
All other flights are “very busy” so limited rebooking was possible at the time, the tweet said.
“Arrangements are currently being made to assist all customers,” said Singapore Airlines. “SIA sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience this has caused.
“The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority.”
In September, a SIA flight from Paris to Singapore was diverted to Baku, Azerbaijan due to a “technical issue”.