China Airlines Airbus A330 Engine Shuts Down Mid Flight

A China Airlines Airbus A330 on route from Hong Kong to Taipei with 243 passengers onboard was forced to shut down an engine mid-flight and return to Hong Kong.

china-airlines-a330
China Airlines A330-300 taking off from TPE Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei, Taiwan. Photo: Flickr/ Prayitno

China Airlines flight number CI-922 was on route to Taipei when passengers heard a large boom. The sound, which emanated from the right-hand engine, was heard as the aircraft was climbing above 27,000 feet, according to The Aviation Herald.

Flight crew reacted immediately, shutting down the right side General Electric CF6 turbofan engine and descending to 11,000 feet. After burning off fuel, the A330-300 successfully landed back at Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok Airport some 90 minutes after take-off.

Advertisement

Passengers were subsequently booked on another aircraft for the relatively short 1 hr 55 min flight.

Advertisement

General Electric CF6-80E1 turbofan engine

Designed especially for the Airbus A330, the General Electric CF6-80E1 uses the latest technology to lower weight and fuel burn so that airlines can maximise the potential of the aircraft.

china-airlines-a330
The aircraft that suffered the mid-flight engine shut down: China Airlines B-18352 Photo: Flickr/ Chung ChengYen

According to General Electric, “the CF6 engine family has been the most reliable and best-selling commercial engine on wide-body aircraft.” “CF6 engines have flown more hours than any other high-bypass engine family, powering more than 10 models of wide-body aircraft. In recent years, the engine family has also played a major role in military aviation in powering transports, tankers and surveillance aircraft.”

Advertisement

China Airlines A330 fleet

As the national flag carrier of Taiwan, China Airlines serves 102 cities across Asia, Oceania, Europe, and North America.

China Airlines A330 on the apron
A China Airlines A330. Photo: wikimedia.org

Currently, China Airlines has 23 A330 aircraft in service with an average age of 11.4 years. The aircraft that suffered the mid-air engine shut down, B-18352, joined the airline in 2007.

Hong Kong to Taipei the world’s busiest international route

With close to one flight every 18 minutes the Hong Kong-Taipei route is one of the busiest international connections being flown today.

Hong Kong International Airport. Photo: Hong Kong Airport

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways had the most capacity on the lucrative route with 309,439 seats available. China Airlines was second with 182,986 available seats.

Other carriers operating between Taiwan and the autonomous territory of Hong Kong include Hong Kong Airlines, EVA Airways and Cathay Dragon.

In 2017, the Taiwan News claimed that 451,801 passengers travelled the 802km between Hong Kong and Taipei, 29,313 more passengers than the second busiest international route, which is between Jakarta, Indonesia and Changi Airport, Singapore.

Interestingly, both journeys have a flight time of just less than two hours.

China Airlines looks to the future

As Taiwan’s premier airline, China Airlines are always looking to the future. As such, they have made a big decision by announcing that the Airbus A321neo will replace its existing Boeing 737-800 fleet.

a321neo
A321neo test-bed on a low gears-up departure from Toulouse.Photo:Wikipedia

The Taiwanese flag carrier will take delivery of 25 A321neos starting in 2021. The current order also includes the option to purchase five more A321neo aircraft.

As far as the ageing fleet of A330 aircraft, including the one involved in the engine shut down incident are concerned a major refit was done in 2016 to upgrade the inflight entertainment.

Advertisement

6
Leave a Reply

3 Comment threads
3 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Howard Miller

Minor correction RE:

“Currently, China Airlines has 23 A330 aircraft in service with an average age of 11.4 years. The aircraft that suffered the mid-air engine shut down B-18352 joined the Star Team Alliance member in 2007.”

China Airlines (which I flew JFK-TPE-MNL & HKG-TPE-JFK this past Xmas/New Year’s holiday season) is a member of SkyTeam (Delta, Aeroflot, AeroMexico, Air France, KLM, Korean Airlines, etc.), while Taiwan’s other major international airline, EVA Air, is a member of the Star Alliance (United, Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, Air Canada, ANA, Asiana, SAS, etc.).

Vince

Hi Mark, Another minor correction: Flight crew reacted immediately shutting down the right side General Electric CF6 turbofan engine and descended to 11,000 feet. After burning off fuel the A330-300 successfully landed back at Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok Airport some 90 minutes after take-off. The A330 is equip with fuel dump system, so it is likely that the aircraft is circling around to complete the fuel dumping rather than burning it off. Also there is a missing “t” in the word shutting. Also i guess you’re not the only one that mixed up China Airlines with Air China (which… Read more »

Tristan

No renovation was done in 2016. It was planned but then cancelled when the new CEO took over after the strike that year. A330s instead will be planned to replaced sooner and CI is searching for the right model to replace them. Some cabins on the A330s are now 15-16years old and very dated.

Will

This is correct and the article is completely wrong. Nearly all of the A330 did not undergo the renovation as claimed, which means China Airlines’ A330 interior is extremely old and carrying the same furnishing similar to the 747s that they are about to retire.