An Emirates Airlines Airbus A380 was forced to shut down one of its four engines and return to Toronto shortly after takeoff.
The incident, as reported by The Aviation Herald, involved an Airbus A380-800, registration A6-EDO. Flight number EK242 was on route from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Dubai International Airport (DXB) on Saturday the 20th of July 2019.
Passengers heard a loud noise from the left side of the plane
Just 20 minutes after takeoff at around three o’clock in the afternoon passengers heard a loud noise coming from the left side of the plane.
At the time of the engine failure, the A380 was climbing through 25,000 feet when the crew declared a PAN-PAN emergency.
(The radiotelephony message PAN-PAN is the international standard urgency signal that someone aboard a boat, ship, aircraft, or other vehicle uses to declare that they have an urgent situation, but for the time being, does not pose an immediate danger to anyone’s life or to the vessel itself).
The message informed Canadian Air Traffic Control that they needed to shut down the inboard left number two engine.
The aircraft dumped fuel and returned to Toronto Pearson
Following the engine shut down, the crew proceeded to dump fuel and return to Toronto Pearson International landing on runway 33R around two hours after departure.
As a precaution, the emergency services were deployed as is a standard procedure following the announcement of an emergency.
Knowing that it would be some time before the engine could be repaired or replaced, Emirates Airlines dispatched one of their other planes an Airbus A380 (A6-EOF) to pick up the stranded passengers.
A passenger on flight EK242 describes what happened
One of the passengers aboard the flight, Nourhan Elshamy described the incident to website Aviation24.be saying,
“My daughter and I just experienced terrifying moments on board of the EK242 on air after two hours of flight. We heard a scary loud noise and the pilot informed us that he has to divert the plane back to Toronto.”
Mr. Elshamy went on to add that he was very dissatisfied with the assistance he and his daughter received once back in Toronto,
“We are safe on the ground now, yet no Emirates staff is showing till now. It’s been two hours and no one is telling us anything. We got redirected to pass customs entering Canada and took out our luggage. Where to go? What to do? No one is communicating anything with us. Total disappointment and our plans now for a vacation are ruined. This is a sub-par customer experience from the most expensive airline. No communication, no customer care and no one to speak to.
“The Emirates office number 1 (800) 777-3999 is not responding and the live chat keeps saying, experiencing difficulties.”
The airline meanwhile reported that the aircraft returned due to a technical fault.
If you were aboard Emirates Airlines flight number EK242 when the engine failure occurred, we would love to hear what you thought about it and how you were treated by Emirates once back in Canada.