x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Emirates flight diverted after smoke fear

Passengers endure five-hour wait after burning smell detected in cabin of New York-bound flight.

DUBAI // Passengers on an Emirates flight to New York were yesterday diverted to Sweden and forced to wait in their seats for five hours after a burning smell was detected in the cabin.

Flight EK203 was en route from Dubai to New York's John F Kennedy Airport when people noticed the odour. The pilot of the Boeing 777, which had 361 passengers onboard, diverted to Arlanda Airport in Stockholm early yesterday morning.

Anders Bredfell, a spokesman for the airport, said the passengers had to remain onboard the plane for five hours while safety checks were carried out.

"There had been an indication of smoke onboard, so the pilot decided to land at Arlanda for a technical check," said Mr Bredfell.

"The pilot called for the stairs and we had buses standing by. However, he decided not to disembark the passengers, and they remained onboard for about five hours. The checks found no evidence of any smoke."

Emirates confirmed the incident, saying: "An inspection was carried out and the aircraft was cleared to resume its journey with a departure time of 11.25 GMT (3.25pm UAE).

"The safety of passengers and crew is of paramount importance and Emirates apologises for any inconvenience caused."

nhanif@thenational.ae