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Virgin Atlantic flight makes emergency landing at Manchester Airport as ‘cockpit fills with smoke’

Virgin Atlantic flight makes emergency landing at Manchester Airport as ‘cockpit fills with smoke’

A Virgin Atlantic flight bound for Barbados was forced to land at Manchester Airport after the cockpit reportedly filled with smoke.

The plane touched down at 1.50pm on Sunday (7 January) after the pilots reported the smell of “dense, acrid smoke”, according to aviation website AirLive.

Flight VS77 had taken off from Manchester for Bridgetown around an hour earlier but was forced to turn back after only around 20 minutes.

The aircraft touched down safely and was met by firefighters at the airport.

Virgin Atlantic attributed the aborted flight to a “technical issue”.

An airline spokesperson told The Independent: “The VS77 from Manchester to Barbados has returned to Manchester due to a technical issue. The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“The flight was cancelled, and all affected customers have been rebooked on alternative flights.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service confirmed to Manchester Evening News that they had been called to the scene, saying: “At just after 1.30pm [on Sunday], firefighters were called to an incident involving an aircraft making an emergency landing at Manchester Airport.

“Three fire engines from Wythenshawe and Stockport, the Technical Response Unit from Ashton and the Command Support Unit from Hyde arrived quickly at the scene.

“Working alongside Manchester Airport fire personnel, firefighters were on standby for the aircraft’s arrival, which landed safely. Our crews were in attendance for approximately one and a half hours.”

It’s not the first time a flight has been disrupted by smoke.

In September 2023, an Air China flight was forced to make an emergency landing after the engine caught fire and the plane cabin filled with smoke.

Flight CA403 was flying to Singapore from Chengdu, China, when the incident occurred.

Singapore’s Changi airport confirmed that the flight crew “reported smoke in the forward cargo hold and lavatory” at around 4pm, and that the aircraft was given priority to land at the airport at about 4.15pm after declaring an emergency.

“After landing, emergency slides of the aircraft were deployed for expeditious evacuation,” the airport said in a statement.