Passengers on board two different British Airways (BA) flights on the Mumbai-London route had to face unscheduled stopovers followed by marathon delays owing to mid-air technical snags in just over 24 hours.
On Monday, a Mumbai-bound flight BA 139 from Heathrow airport in London was diverted to Munich due to an engine snag. While sources said there was fire in the galley, the airline said that the stopover was a precautionary measure.
"We apologise for the delay to our customers after their flight was diverted as a precaution following an issue with the equipment in one of our galleys. Our first priority is always the safety of our customers and crew," a BA spokesperson said.
On Sunday, London-bound flight BA 198 from Mumbai was diverted to Istanbul after a suspected fuel leak. According to sources, the airline crew decided to divert the flight after is experienced a suspected fuel leak when the Boeing 777-200 aircraft was cruising in the Bulgarian airspace. The crew decided to land at Istanbul airport because the aircraft did not have enough fuel to reach London, sources added.
Sources said that the flight landed safely an hour later at Istanbul airport. Subsequently, BA flew a spare aircraft to the Turkish city, which picked up passengers and reached London nearly a day behind its scheduled arrival.
The airline spokesperson did not comment on this diversion.
Incidentally, two other London-bound flight operated by the airline reportedly made emergency diversions over the past 24 hours.
According to reports, an Airbus321 from Baku in Azerbaijan turned back soon after taking off due to suspected fire in the engine.
Another flight from Luanda in Angola to London made a precautionary landing at the Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris after a passenger reported sick on board. Hundreds of passengers were believed to have missed connecting flights and faced long waits at different airports courtesy the diversions, said sources.