A Qatar Airways flight, en route to Doha from New Delhi, made an emergency landing in the city of Karachi Monday morning after smoke was detected in the cargo bay of the aircraft, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) said.
The plane, operating flight QR579, took off from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi at 3:40 am. it was scheduled to land in Doha at 5:30 am (7:30 am Pakistan Standard Time).
It encountered a technical fault in the air and landed at the Karachi airport at 5:45 am PST, a little over an hour after the take-off. Sources privy to the matter said that the aircraft was at a height of 40,000 feet.
They said that as the Qatar Airways flight was making an emergency landing, a flight from Doha, bound to land in Karachi, had to continue circling overhead for a while. Several other flights, including Air Lanka’s UL-183, flying to Karachi, had to wait to land due to the emergency situation.
“A Qatar Airways flight QR579 has made an emergency landing at Karachi airport in the morning and all passengers have been shifted to the lounge to wait for another aircraft,” PCAA spokesperson Saifullah told Arab News. The flight was diverted to Karachi after an “indication of smoke detected in the cargo hold” of the aircraft, Qatar Airways said in a statement.
“The aircraft landed safely at Karachi where it was met by emergency services and passengers disembarked orderly via stairs,” it said. The statement added that the incident was under investigation and a relief flight was being arranged. Saifullah said an alternate aircraft had reached Karachi from Qatar to transport the passengers.
“The aircraft landed safely at Karachi where it was met by emergency services and passengers disembarked orderly via stairs,” the report by India Times quoted the airline as saying in a statement.
“The incident is currently under investigation and a relief flight is being arranged to transport passengers onwards to Doha,” the airline added in the statement. The CAA spokesman further said, “all flight operations at the Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, are normal”.
A similar emergency landing was made at Karachi’s Jinnah International airport in November 2020. A commercial Indian airline GoAir had to land in Karachi due to a passenger suffering cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, he died.
A few years ago, in 2016, despite the rising tensions between the neighboring countries, an Indian jet made an emergency landing in Karachi. Back then also a passenger lost his life on board.
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