Condor Boeing 757-300 Makes Emergency Landing In Fuerteventura

Operating a flight from Lanzarote destined for Hamburg on January 7th, a Condor Boeing 757-300 was forced to make an emergency landing just 20 minutes into its flight. The aircraft diverted to Fuerteventura after loud popping noises were heard and sparks spotted coming from the aircraft’s engine.

B757 Condor
Condor operates a fleet of 13 Boeing 757-300s. Photo: Condor

Incident details

Taking place on January 7th, flight DE1439 was to take passengers from Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands, to Hamburg, Germany. However, just 20 minutes had passed when the Boeing 757-300 began to experience problems.

According to media outlet Welt, eyewitnesses experienced loud popping noises and saw sparks coming from an engine. Video posted to YouTube taken below the aircraft confirms this, showing that the aircraft’s number two engine (right side) was sparking.

With eight crew members and 209 passengers onboard, the decision was made to divert to the nearby island of Fuerteventura (FUE) and perform an emergency landing. The aircraft managed to complete a safe landing at 14:31 UTC.

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Aircraft grounded, replacement aircraft dispatched

The engine issue resulted in flight DE1439 being canceled. The 23 and a half-year-old 757-300, registered D-ABOB, remains on the ground. A Condor spokesperson told Tag24 that the cause of the engine malfunction remains unknown but that most passengers reacted relatively calmly to the unusual incident, saying, “The mood onboard was good, there was no panic.”

Due to initial uncertainty regarding a travel plan, passengers were accommodated in a hotel. However, a replacement aircraft was dispatched the very next day, on January 8th. The Boeing 757-300 registered D-ABOJ flew from Frankfurt to Fuerteventura and touched down at 11:34. Loading the passengers from D-ABOB, the replacement jet departed Fuerteventura at 13:05 and landed in Hamburg at 18:22. The total duration of this flight was four hours and 16 minutes.

That same day, D-ABOJ was repositioned back to its home base in Frankfurt. The cause of the incident is now under investigation.

RadarBox.com DE1439
The flight path of DE1439 on January 7th. Photo: RadarBox.com

The Condor 757-300 fleet

Condor operates a fleet of 13 Boeing 757-300s. These have an average age of 22.5 years- the oldest of which is nearly 24 years old. The “newest” of these 757-300s is 21.6 years of age.

Considering all aircraft operated by the German airline, Condor’s overall fleet age is just over 20 years old. However, the average will drop in the coming years as the airline takes delivery of some new Airbus A330-900s. Taking the title of Germany’s A330neo launch customer, Condor has decided to order 16 of these aircraft. The aircraft are meant to replace its fleet of aging Boeing 767-300s. The average age of Condor’s 767 fleet is nearing 27 years.

It doesn’t yet appear that Condor has selected an aircraft type to one day replace its 757-300 fleet. Long out of production, the 757-300 is a difficult aircraft to replace, as newer offerings from both Airbus and Boeing fall short of the aircraft’s capacity. The smallest widebodies from both planemakers would be slightly larger than what the airline might be looking for.

What do you think of Condor’s January 7th incident? Share your opinion by leaving a comment.

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