A Condor Boeing 757 departing from Frankfurt to Lanzarote had to return to its point of origin. The aircraft reportedly had smoke in the cabin following its departure. A replacement aircraft eventually operated the flight to Lanzarote.
Unfortunately, from time to time, flights have to divert. Sometimes this even necessitates the need to return to the airport of departure. Yesterday saw a Condor Boeing 757 return to Frankfurt. The aircraft departed from Frankfurt and flew for around 40 minutes before touching back down. The aircraft didn’t dump fuel as the Boeing 757 isn’t equipped to do so. Thankfully, nobody was hurt during the incident.
Flight DE1408 of Condor is set to operate the airline’s route from Frankfurt in Germany to Lanzarote in Spain. The flight was scheduled to depart form Frankfurt at 13:05, before arriving in Lanzarote at around 16:25. This gives a rough planned flight time of 3-hours and 20-minutes.
However, yesterday things did not go to plan. The flight was due to be operated by D-ABOC according to The Aviation Herald. Planespotters states that this is a Boeing 757-300 that was delivered to Condor from Boeing in May 1999. As such, the aircraft is around 20.9 years old. It previously spent a stint at Thomas Cook, a sister airline of Condor.
Yesterday, the flight departed from Frankfurt at 13:58 according to Flight Aware. This means that the flight was already running around an hour late when the ground fell away from it. The aircraft initially climbed to 3,700 feet before continuing to 6,000 feet. It made a further climb to 7,000 feet before descending to land.
The problem affecting the aircraft was noticed fairly soon after takeoff, as the aircraft entered its hold just ten minutes into the flight. It then held towards the north of Frankfurt for around 20 minutes more. It was after this hold that the aircraft flew back to Frankfurt, coming to a halt at around 41 minutes into the flight.
Smoke in the cabin
The cause of the diversion was reported as smoke in the cabin by the Av Herald. This reportedly led to the pilots of the aircraft declaring a Mayday emergency. This isn’t the only incident of smoke in a cabin which we’ve seen recently.
A Boeing 777 heading from London to New York recently diverted because of smoke from a galley oven. Additionally, just under a month ago, a British Airbus aircraft was evacuated in Valencia after the cabin filled with smoke.
In this instance, a replacement aircraft went on to operate the flight. The aircraft, registered as D-ABOB, arrived in Lanzarote around four and three-quarter hours behind schedule. This means that passengers could be eligible for compensation under EU-261.
A Condor spokesperson told Simple Flying:
The flight DE1408 from Frankfurt to Lanzarote on September 3, 2019, returned to Frankfurt due to light smoke in the back of the cabin. There was no fire, the source of the smoke is still being investigated. As safety is our first priority at all times, the cockpit crew decided to return to Frankfurt and have the aircraft checked by our technical experts. The health of our guests or crew members aboard was never at risk. Condor provided an alternative aircraft to bring the guests to Lanzarote as fast as possible. We apologize for any inconveniences this might have caused.
Were you onboard flight DE1408? Let us know your experience in the comments.