A Qatar Airways Delhi-Doha passenger plane with over 100 passengers was diverted to Karachi on Monday, March 21 after it declared an emergency due to an indication of smoke in the cargo hold, the airline said.
The aircraft landed safely in Karachi where it was met by emergency services, and passengers disembarked it in an orderly manner using stairs, it said in a statement.
The incident is currently under investigation and a relief flight is being arranged to transport passengers onwards to Doha, the airline said.
The flight took off from Delhi at 3:50 AM on Monday and landed at Karachi at 5:30 AM. It was supposed to land in Doha at 7:15 AM.
“We apologise for the inconvenience to our passengers who will be assisted with their onward travel plans,” it said. Qatar Airways said its flight “QR579 from Delhi to Doha on 21 March diverted to Karachi having declared an emergency due to the indication of smoke detected in the cargo hold”.
Qatar Airways operates the Airbus A350-900 (twin-jet) on its Qatar Airways 579 flight.
Airbus India Head Remi Maillard said “will defend the reputation of Airbus and our A350 fleet against all claims by Qatar Airways in court and also will look into all details on the technical reasons for the flight landing.
Airbus has asked a London court to grant it more than USD 220 million as part of its protracted legal dispute with customer Qatar Airways.