Cathay Pacific picks up passengers stranded in Alaska after emergency landing of Los Angeles-bound flight
A Cathay Pacific relief flight flew to Alaska to pick up 276 passengers and 18 crew members and continue their journey to Los Angeles after their original airliner was forced to make an emergency landing.
The airline said the “precautionary diversion” was made after smoke was detected on flight CX884, which departed from Hong Kong at 12.55pm yesterday and touched down at the Eareckson Air Station on the Shemya US military base on the Aleutian Islands at about 9.30pm last night (Hong Kong time).
Cathay Pacific said today that a problem with a cooling fan created smoke, which led to the emergency landing.
The airline tweeted that a “preliminary inspection indicates that an equipment cooling fan below the cabin floor near the cargo compartment had failed,” so there was smoke in the cockpit, and the captain decided to make an emergency landing.
The five-year-old Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, registration B-KPQ, has left the remote air base with the passengers and crew and was heading to Anchorage in Alaska, where they would board the relief flight, operating as CX884D, which would fly them to Los Angeles, Cathay said.
No injuries were reported.
“We understand that this action resulted in a long and arduous journey for those onboard the diverted flight and we apologise for the inconvenience caused,” Cathay’s service delivery director James Ginns said.
He added the captain made “exactly the right decision” to divert the flight and it would investigate what caused the smoke that was detected on the aircraft.
Flight CX884 operates as a codeshare with American Airlines AA8937 and Lan LA6082.
Eareckson Air Station is located approximately 1,500 miles from Anchorage near the tip of the Aleutian Island chain.
According to GlobalSecurity.org, the once uninhabited island was first occupied by military forces on May 28, 1943, during the final days of the battle to retake nearby Attu from the Japanese.
Shemya was originally intended as a B-29 base for the bombing of Japan. The present day 10,000-foot runway and Birchwood hangars were constructed to accommodate the bomber.