A Qantas A380 has made a surprise appearance at Perth International airport. The pilot decided to put down there because of fuel problems on a flight from Dubai to Sydney.
The aircraft was unable to continue the flight to Sydney and instead landed in Perth in the middle of the night, just before 3am.
The original idea, to get the passengers away to their destinations on a new aircraft, apparently ran into glitches, with some passengers saying they have now been in transit for 50 hours.
The new problem: further technical hitches yesterday afternoon meant any onward flight would run foul of the Sydney midnight curfew, meaning Qantas had to put up the passengers in Perth hotels.
A Qantas statement yesterday acknowledged a “technical issue’’ with the plane but denied the early morning landing in Perth was an emergency.
“While travelling to Sydney from Dubai, the pilots received an indication that there was a technical issue with the aircraft so they diverted to Perth to have the issue repaired by our engineering team before continuing on to Sydney,’’ a Qantas statement said.
“The aircraft landed normally at 2.50am and is currently being inspected by engineers.
“Replacement A380 cabin crew and pilots will be flown to Perth to operate the service to Sydney and is scheduled to depart Perth at 1pm.
“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this has caused. We have provided customers with hotel accommodation and will rebook as many customers as possible on the next available services from Perth.’’
“There was a technical issue with one of the fuel pumps. There was no emergency landing.’’
Written by William Sykes