Vancouver-bound Cathay jet diverts to Seattle in ‘adverse weather condition’ and suspected lightning strike
No injuries were reported and overnight hotel arrangements for passengers made while those without US visas granted entry
A Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong was diverted to Seattle owing to adverse weather conditions at its intended destination, Vancouver International Airport.
The jet, carrying 155 passengers, landed safely in the US city at about 9.25pm local time. The carrier said the aircraft suffered a suspected lightning strike following the diversion and was later inspected.
Passengers were expected to continue their journey to the Canadian city on Sunday.
Flight CX888, a Boeing 777-300ER, was travelling from Hong Kong to New York with a scheduled stopover in Vancouver.
It departed Hong Kong at about 1am Sunday local time.
One of the passengers, a businessman surnamed Yip, complained that they were not informed of what had happened until after arriving in Seattle.
“At first, we were told of poor ground conditions [in Vancouver] and we kept hovering in the air for about 45 minutes to one hour or so. Then we were told we had to divert to Seattle.” Yip said.
Passengers were told they had to stay in Seattle for the night but were not given further information about when they would be flown to Vancouver.
The airline arranged for passengers to stay in a local hotel overnight while those without a visa for the United States were allowed entry.
Poor runway conditions in Vancouver reportedly resulted in two flights being diverted to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Another affected flight was Air Canada 225 from Calgary in Alberta.
According to media reports, South Vancouver was hit by heavy snowfall.
This resulted in snow and ice building up on runways and taxiways quickly turning treacherous even after they were cleared.
A Cathay Pacific spokesman said that the flight was diverted “due to adverse weather condition in Vancouver”, adding: “The safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority and the diversion was a precautionary measure in line with the standard operating procedures.”
He also said there was “no emergency landing requested”.
“Our local ground handling agents are on site to provide necessary assistance to passengers.”