A Qantas flight lands safely after a day of distress in the air over the Pacific Ocean
A Qantas Airways plane landed safely at Sydney Airport on Wednesday after a midday alert was issued over an engine problem over the Pacific Ocean.
Ambulance services at Sydney Airport scrambled to meet the incoming Qantas plane before it landed safely.
A statement from Qantas said the flight – QF144 – was carrying 145 passengers from Auckland, New Zealand.
An AFP reporter at the scene said the Boeing 737-800 landed without incident on the runway at Sydney Airport and will now be checked by engineers.
Qantas said the daytime alert status was lowered to PAN – or “Potential Assistance Needed” – before the flight touched down.
The airline did not specify the exact problem, but said one of the plane’s engines “experienced a problem” about two hours after take-off.
She added, “While aircraft engine shutdowns are rare and naturally cause concern to our passengers, our pilots are trained to manage them safely and aircraft are designed to fly for extended periods on one engine.”
Airservices Australia, the state aviation regulator, said the PAN indicated a situation that “requires attention from air traffic control”.
Qantas is consistently ranked among the safest airlines in the world and has not been involved in a fatal accident for more than 70 years.
NSW Ambulance earlier said the service had begun plans for “emergency activation” because the plane made a distress call while flying over the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand.
A spokeswoman said paramedics were called and ambulance services were put on standby at the airport.
The Boeing 737-800 is a twin-engine aircraft that is capable of landing safely with only one engine.
According to the Australian government, the Mayday call “indicates that the aircraft is in grave and imminent danger and requires immediate assistance.”