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Two flights make emergency return to Hong Kong airport within seven hours of each other

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Emergency services were on standby at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) last week with two outbound planes having to make emergency returns in less than seven hours.

The first incident occurred on Thursday February 1, when Cathay Pacific flight CX913, bound for Manila, turned back 50 minutes after departure. According to flight tracking website FlightAware, the aircraft, which took off from HKIA at 8.27pm, turned around while crossing the South China Sea.


Reporting on the incident, the Aviation Herald stated: “A ground observer reported hearing a loud bang and seeing streaks of flame from the left-hand engine.” The observer also said they heard “lesser bangs” upon landing at HKIA.

A “full emergency” was declared by the Civil Aviation Department, meaning there was risk of an accident occurring, and emergency services were brought in for extra support.

271 passengers were onboard the aircraft, which landed at Hong Kong International Airport at 9.55pm with no injuries reported.

The Fire Services Department was called upon for a second time just hours later, when Air France flight AF185 made a request to return to Hong Kong due to a technical issue with one of the plane’s engines. The Paris-bound flight landed safely back at HKIA at 4.47am on Friday February 2, with no injuries.

Air France AF185

According to a report from The Aviation Herald, passengers onboard were informed of “a fire indication for one of the engines” while in the air. The report went on to say: “It was later found that the fire indication was false due to faulty sensor.”

Passengers on the flight were provided with accommodation and were re-routed on other flights.

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