A Cathay Pacific Airbus 330 has made an emergency landing in Singapore after one of its engines caught fire.
Passengers on a flight bound for Jakarta reported hearing two sharp bangs about 20 minutes after taking off from Singapore’s Changi Airport. Their plane then began to shake violently and the lights went out.
Some passengers reported smelling burning and seeing flames.
Cathay Pacific said an Airbus 330 carrying 136 passengers flew back to Changi Airport just before 2am local time.
Firefighters doused the damaged engine and all people on board were evacuated to safety.
Captain Bradley Chic praised passengers for their calm response.
“The best that we can ever ask of passengers is to just stay cool, stay calm, listen to the direction of their cabin crew, which you all did, and for that we thank you,” he said.
The passengers disembarked “without incident,” and most were transferred to other flights on Monday morning, according to Cathay.
“Cathay Pacific and Rolls Royce are investigating the incident which has been reported to the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department,” the airline said in a statement.
In separate new Cathay Pacific and Dragonair reported traffic figures for April 2011 showing a year-on-year rise in passenger numbers alongside a drop in the passenger load factor, and a decrease in the amount of cargo and mail carried.
Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried a total of 2,258,004 passengers in April 2011 – up 4.1% on the same month last year – while the passenger load factor was down 3.6 percentage points to 80.3%. Capacity for the month, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), was up by 11.6%. For the year to date, the number of passengers carried is up by 1.7% compared to a capacity rise of 10.1%.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Revenue Management Tom Owen said, “Demand on North American and Southeast Asian routes remained strong, and regional demand from Hong Kong was given a boost by the Easter holidays. The China network was solid, improving the quality of revenues on Dragonair, while Europe rebounded off the low base last year resulting from the airspace closures. Premium demand continued to be generally firm, benefitting from the Canton Fair. The continued slump on Japan routes remains a concern, with few signs yet of material pick-up.”
The two airlines carried 139,944 tonnes of cargo and mail last month, an 8.4% decrease compared to the same month last year, while the cargo and mail load factor was down 11.0 percentage points to 68.3%. Capacity, measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, was up by 13.4%, while cargo and mail tonne kilometres flown were down by 2.3%. For the year so far, tonnage has dropped by 0.3% compared to a capacity increase of 19.4%.
Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing James Woodrow said, “Our key Hong Kong home market remained soft throughout April while demand out of the major manufacturing areas of China weakened further, particularly to Europe.
However, once again the outbound weakness was offset to some extent by fairly robust demand into Asia. We reduced our freighter services on long- haul trunk routes in line with demand last month and will do the same in May as the markets stay quiet.”