A Qantas A380 bound for London made a drastic 180º turn, diverting to Baku, Azerbaijan for an emergency landing after encountering a smoke warning in the cargo hold.
Qantas A380 Makes Emergency Landing In Baku After Smoke Warning
As I went to bed last night in California, a friend sent me the following tweet:
#QF1 from Singapore to London made a 180 degree turn near Tbilisi squawking 7700 and now descending, likely diverting to Baku. Reason currently unknown. https://t.co/yCHWMmBXyS pic.twitter.com/8Djjw5BeeG
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) December 23, 2022
Squawking 7700 indicates an emergency. That emergency may be of any nature, from terrorism to mechanical to a disruptive passenger. We now know what occurred onboard.
QF1, Qantas’ flagship service from Sydney (SYD) to London (LHR) via Singapore (SIN) diverted to Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku (GYD) early on Friday after a smoke warning in the cargo hold. Pilots suspected a bad sensor, but out of an abundance of caution, opted to divert.
The carrier was over the Republic of Georgia when the warning light illuminated. The carrier turned back for Baku after it was determined that it was the closest airport that could handle the Airbus A380-800 superjumbo jet. 10 hours and 24 minutes after takeoff from Singapore, it landed in Baku.
A Qantas spokesperson explained:
“The aircraft intermittently alerted the pilots to the potential of smoke in the cargo hold. Although it was considered likely to be a sensor fault, the aircraft diverted to Baku as a safety precaution. Initial investigations have found no evidence of smoke in the cargo hold. We thank customers for their patience and we are working to get them on their way as quickly as possible.”
Patience will indeed be required. As evening approaches in Baku, the plane has not left the ground. This is due to crew rest requirements, which now prohibit pilots and flight attendants from operating the flight before resting. In fact, the flight is not scheduled to leave until Saturday evening (24 December 2022) at 10:30 pm local time, nearly 48 hours after arrival.
Qantas Havayolları’na ait QF1 sefer sayılı Singapur – Londra uçuşunu gerçekleştiren A380 tipi uçak Bakü Haydar Aliyev Havalimanı’na acil iniş yaptı. Uçağın kargo bölümünden gelen bir yangın ikazı sebebiyle acil iniş yaptığı öğrenildi. Uçakta 356 kişi bulunuyordu. #havacılık #uçak pic.twitter.com/mpJyOlWS80
— Serdar BAŞAĞAOĞLU (@basagaoglu) December 23, 2022
Azerbaijan requirers a visa for entry, so passengers had to wait hours for a visa on arrival to be processed before they could depart the airport.
Out of an abundance of caution, a Qantas A380 operating as QF1 made an emergency landing in Baku. It appears now that passengers will be stuck in Baku for nearly two days, missing any Christmas Eve festivities in London or beyond. But had that smoke been indicative of an actual fire onboard, the diversion could have saved lives. Although not ideal, better safe than sorry.
image: @basagaoglu / Twitter
on the positive side, Baku is a delightful place to spend 48 hours. Really an underrated destination.
It’s sad that a post about Azerbaijan elicits not a single comment about the current Lachin Corridor blockade. A humanitarian crisis created entirely by the government of Azerbaijan, but somehow seeming unknown in the West. Baku might be a “nice place to spend 48 hours,” but Aliev is making people suffer, intentionally, over Christmas.
Did you read my link? 😉
It seems nothing has changed in a decade, and that’s a shame. However, as for the Lachin Corridor blockade, it’s only about 2 weeks old at this point, but eventually the food will run out.
or lets try a different concept…unlike so many of the trolls (not saying you are one) that come here and comment on masks, politics, trump, biden, whatever on every post…i don’t go to a travel blog to discuss current events. Every post about Ukraine doesn’t become a place to talk about the Russian War, every post about Qatar airways doesn’t result in discussion on migrants, every post about Israel doesn’t result in a discussion on Palestine, and every post on Azerbaijan doesn’t turn into a place to discuss Karabagh. When I want to discuss these things, i do, this isn’t the place for me to do it. Just my two cents.
I’m not a troll. I comment here often, and my comments are usually on topic. My observation here wasn’t necessarily that “Azerbaijan is bad,” but rather, “it’s amazing how few people in North America and Europe are aware of what’s going on in the Lachin Corridor.” In my opinion, it should be a bigger global news story, and it clearly is not.
Yeni iliniz mübarək
And to back Jerry up, I had never heard of it before he brought it to my attention and I’ve even written about the conflict:
You are just travel blogger and it is advisable you talk about travel, food and other trouser relates topics rather than historical and political issues. your article about Karabakh lookes like you are veterinary but you try to heal human beings. you should delete your article entirely which you wrote about Karabakh and make one year research and then write about.
your article about Karabakh does not bring you good reputation and it shows how you are illiterate and unprofessional
Sorry, I won’t. And Azerbaijan should get the heck out of Artsakh as well. Filthy occupiers.
Just to be clear, I didn’t mean you were a troll. I just meant that are many trolls here who twist all discussions into political ones.
I do agree with you, it should be a bigger deal. Then again, most of our fellow countrymen are pretty ignorant about things happening outside their own tiny spheres. I’m betting most can’t even find Armenia, Azerbaijan or Karabagh on a map.
Sooo sorry that you can’t handle the truth in the comments on a travel blog.