Hong Kong carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways, was founded in 1946 by American Roy C. Farrell and Australian Sydney H. de Kantzow, offering scheduled passenger and cargo services. Cathay also owns Dragonair and in 2010, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried nearly 27 million passengers and over 1.8 million tonnes of cargo and mail. Cathay Pacific was a founder member of the Oneworld alliance.
Cathay Pacific flight in emergency landing after pilot smells smoke
Investigators are looking into an incident that forced a Cathay Pacific flight to make an emergency landing at a mainland airport early on Sunday.
London-bound flight CX251 changed course for Tianhe Airport in Wuhan , Hubei province, after the captain reported a burning smell in the cockpit. It landed shortly after 2am on Sunday.
The Boeing 777-300ER was carrying 235 passengers and 18 crew members, all of whom disembarked without incident.
The passengers stayed in the airport's main hall while the carrier arranged for them to fly back to Hong Kong on a different aircraft at 11.35am on Sunday. They left for London on a 4pm flight from Chek Lap Kok.
"We are investigating and an initial report has been sent to the Civil Aviation Administration of China and the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department," the airline said.
The Hong Kong aviation department said Cathay Pacific had sent engineers to Wuhan to inspect the airliner and the agency would follow up the case. "The airline is required to submit a detailed report of the incident within 96 hours," a spokeswoman for the department said.
The airline said: "We apologise to passengers for the inconvenience caused." It said the flight was diverted to Tianhe Airport "as a precautionary measure" when "the captain reported a smell of fumes in the cockpit".
Cathay Pacific confirmed that "no smoke was seen in the cockpit" by the captain. It blamed a broken cooling fan.
Mainland authorities activated their emergency response system after the pilot asked to land at about 1.45am.
Firefighters, medical workers and officers from Wuhan Public Security Bureau and Customs Department were sent to meet the flight, according to a mainland news report.
"At no time were passengers and crew in any danger," the airline said. The plane returned to Hong Kong yesterday.
Wuhan was the nearest airport at which the flight was able to make an emergency landing.
"Depending on the nature of an emergency and the urgency, the flight crew will decide when and where to make the landing," the Hong Kong aviation department's spokeswoman said.