The aircraft landed at 1:50 pm on Sunday (7 January) following pilot reports of the scent of “dense, acrid smoke,” as stated by the aviation website AirLive.
Virgin Atlantic Flight VS77, which departed from Manchester for Bridgetown approximately an hour prior, had to reverse course after only about 20 minutes in the air. The plane landed safely and was greeted by firefighters at the airport.
Virgin Atlantic attributed the disrupted flight to a “technical issue.” A spokesperson for the airline informed The Independent, stating, “The VS77 from Manchester to Barbados has returned to Manchester due to a technical issue.
The safety and security of our customers and crew are always our top priority, and we apologize for any inconvenience caused. The flight was cancelled, and all affected customers have been rebooked on alternative flights.
Rescue Service Responds To Incident
Meanwhile, a representative from the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service confirmed to Manchester Evening News that they were summoned to the incident. The spokesperson stated, “At just after 1.30 pm [on Sunday], firefighters responded to an incident involving an aircraft making an emergency landing at Manchester Airport.
“Three fire engines from Wythenshawe and Stockport, the Technical Response Unit from Ashton, and the Command Support Unit from Hyde promptly arrived at the scene.
Collaborating with Manchester Airport fire personnel, firefighters were on standby for the aircraft’s safe arrival, which occurred without incident. Our crews remained at the scene for approximately one and a half hours.
This is not the first instance of a flight being disrupted by smoke. In September 2023, an Air China flight, CA403, was compelled to make an emergency landing due to an engine fire, resulting in smoke filling the plane cabin. The flight, en route to Singapore from Chengdu, China, experienced the incident.
Changi Airport in Singapore verified that the flight crew “reported smoke in the forward cargo hold and lavatory” around 4 pm. The aircraft was given priority for landing at approximately 4:15 pm after declaring an emergency. The airport stated, “After landing, emergency slides of the aircraft were deployed for expeditious evacuation.
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