An airBaltic Airbus A220 has diverted to Bordeaux airport. The aircraft was operating flight BT 677 from Riga to Malaga at the time of the incident. The diversion occurred after the pilot shut down the left engine.
Last year the Airbus A220 was temporarily grounded by operator SWISS pending engine inspections. The grounding came following three similar engine failures in around as many months. Additionally, in the first two years of its Airbus A220 operations, airBaltic, the aircraft’s launch customer, replaced 50 engines across 13 aircraft. It is unclear if this latest incident is related to previous occurrences.
Flight BT 677 was due to fly from Riga to Malaga this morning. The flight was due to depart at 07:30, however, due to a delay did not get airborne until 07:43. Once in the Sky, things looked up. The aircraft flew as planned towards Spain passing through a number of countries as usual.
Things changed just as the aircraft was about to enter the airspace above Spain. The aircraft made a U-turn and began to descend, diverting to Bordeaux in the west of France. According to data from FlightRadar24.com, hey aircraft had been cruising at 36,000 feet. However, immediately before the U-turn the aircraft briefly rose to 39,000 feet before beginning its descent immediately after.
The aircraft involved in the incident is an Airbus a 220-300. Registered as YL-AAU, the aircraft was the 100th A220 to have been delivered. It is just 0.2 years old according to data from Planespotters.net.
In a comment sent to Simple Flying, airBaltic confirmed the incident saying:
“airBaltic confirms that on February 12 its flight BT677 from Riga to Malaga was diverted to Bordeaux, France due to technical reasons. Safety is the top priority of airBaltic. During the flight, the Captain reported a left engine shutdown.”
A spokesperson went on to add:
“In accordance to standard procedures, the flight was diverted and safely landed in Bordeaux. A ferry flight from Riga has already departed to carry all passengers to and from Malaga with as little delay as possible. airBaltic will provide passengers with meal and refreshment vouchers. airBaltic apologizes to all passengers for the inconvenience caused.”
While not necessarily linked, there were several other incidents involving the same aircraft type last year. This led to SWISS completely grounding its fleet of Airbus A220s until engineers had a chance to check each engine. The French BEA is already investigating these incidents and confirmed on Twitter that it was dispatching investigators to Bordeaux to investigate this latest occurrence.
⚠️ Incident grave @Airbus #A220 immatriculé YL-AAU exploité par @airBaltic survenu ce matin / défaillance technique moteur gauche en croisière pendant un vol Riga > Malaga & deroutement à #Bordeaux / @BEA_Aero sera sur place cet après-midi. (image d’illustration) pic.twitter.com/JIdTR17Kyh
— BEA ✈️ 🚁🛩 🇫🇷 (@BEA_Aero) February 12, 2020
Were you onboard flight BT 677? what did you experience? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.