Nine Injured As An Aerolíneas Argentinas Airbus A330 Encounters Turbulence Over The Andes

On September 20th, it was reported that an Aerolíneas Argentinas Airbus A330 experienced severe turbulence leading to nine people onboard being injured. The flight was going from Miami, Florida to Buenos Aires, Argentina at the time.
Nine Injured As An Aerolíneas Argentinas Airbus A330 Encounters Turbulence Over The Andes
Aerolíneas Argentinas has 10 Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Photo: Nathan Coats via Flickr

Flight details

According to the Aviation Herald, the incident involved an Airbus A330-200 with registration LV-FNK. The aircraft was performing flight AR-1303, a six-times weekly flight from Miami to Buenos Aires. The 4,400-mile flight takes approximately nine hours to complete. The turbulence occurred as the aircraft was flying over the Andes mountain range.

The Aviation Herald also reports that of the nine injured, eight were passengers and one was a crew member. In total, there were 251 people onboard. After making a safe landing in Buenos Aires, those injured in the incident were treated at the airport’s clinic where all injuries were deemed not serious.

This is what the airline had to say about the incident:

“The plane faced a turbulence phenomenon when crossing the Andes Mountains, since it was flying along the Pacific route. These phenomena, depending on their intensity, can generate unplanned movements on the plane, but the safety of the flight cannot be jeopardized.”

Nine Injured As An Aerolíneas Argentinas Airbus A330 Encounters Turbulence Over The Andes
251 people were onboard the aircraft involved. Photo: Nathan Coats via Flickr

The official statement goes on to commend all those involved in the incident:

“It is worth highlighting the professionalism and dedication of all the staff of Aerolineas Argentinas, Health Service, PSA and other operational areas of the Ezeiza airport in customer service.”

About the aircraft and airline

LV-FNK is a 19-year-old Airbus A330-200 that has seen service with numerous airlines during its time in service. According to AirFleets, the aircraft is legally owned by International Lease Finance Corporation and has been leased out to various airlines over the last two decades. Previous carriers include:

  • Air Afrique (now defunct)
  • Eurofly (now defunct)
  • Atlas Jet
  • Saudia

Aerolíneas Argentinas has been leasing LV-FNK from ILFC since 2013. The aircraft has flown the Buenos Aires-Miami route almost exclusively in the last week. However, today it is completing its return journey from New York JFK.

Aerolíneas Argentinas has been a SkyTeam alliance member since 2012. The flag carrier of Argentina was founded in 1950. According to SkyTeam, the carrier is integrated with domestic sister airline Austral Líneas Aéreas to offer 38 destinations throughout Argentina. Internationally, the airline has flights to 20 destinations in America and Europe.

According to Wikipedia, the airline’s widebody fleet consists of 10 A330-200s as well as two A340-300s. However, the A340s will reportedly be retired before the end of 2019. Many airlines this year and in the next few years are retiring their A340 fleets. Unfortunately, the airline has also been affected by the Boeing 737 MAX crisis as it has five MAX 8s delivered with another 8 on the way.

A turbulent summer

We’ve written a lot about turbulence this past summer. In fact, earlier this month passengers and crew were injured during a Eurowings flight while turbulence on a Frontier flight led to a flight attendant breaking their leg.

One of the more visually dramatic incidents of turbulence took place onboard an Emirates Airbus A380 flight. The aftermath of the incident saw serving trolleys lying sideways with their contents spilled. Trays of cakes and sandwiches were all over the floor, along with bottles of water and alcohol. In fact, a piece of an exit sign could be seen cracked and on the floor.

Nine Injured As An Aerolíneas Argentinas Airbus A330 Encounters Turbulence Over The Andes
Aerolíneas is the flag carrier of Argentina. Photo: Joao Carlos Medau via Wikipedia

Now would be a great time to remind everyone to keep your seatbelts fastened while seated! We reached out to Aerolíneas Argentinas for a comment. However, at the time of writing this article, we have not had a response.