Qatar Airways flight 083 to New York’s JFK airport had to turn around two hours into its journey and land back in Doha this morning, tweets from passengers reveal. This is the second diversion of a Qatar Airways aircraft in just two weeks.
Although the airline has not yet commented on the incident, Raed Al-Emadi says that the flight crew told passengers that there was something wrong with the Boeing 777’s flaps:
Okay, so the flaps of the wing got stuck! It would have taken us couple of days at this rate to get to NY#QatarAirways
An aircraft’s flaps are essential for landing and take off, and if they fail to retract in the cruise, they also prevent an aircraft from flying at high altitude and at normal cruising speed.
Last week, a Qatar Airways A320 aircraft en route to Zagreb with 158 passengers on board made an emergency landing in Iran after engine trouble. The airline dispatched another plane to pick up the passengers a few hours later. Qatar Airways has not commented on the incident.
Today, emergency vehicles were waiting for the aircraft when it touched down in Doha after jettisoning most of its fuel load, which is standard procedure when an aircraft needs to land sooner than planned.
Passenger Nitya Iyer says she was impressed with how the diversion was handled, stating that Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker dealt with the incident personally:
Incredibly impressed by the rapid response to our emergency return and landing at Doha airport!
Lines of emergency response vehicles awaited our arrival. Mr. Al-baker himself supervised. Glad to be safe. Will be happier at JFK!
Flight information on the Qatar Airways website shows that the QR083 was rescheduled. It departed at 1.30 pm today, meaning a total delay of five and a half hours.
Qatar Airways has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Were you on the flight? Do you know more?
Credit: Photo by Caribb