Air France 787 Paris-Seattle Declares Emergency

Mike Burdett from CROMER, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

An Air France Boeing 787-8 bound for Seattle from Paris has declared an emergency, squawking transponder code 7700 en route.

Air France flight AF338 declared a general emergency from the cruise at FL360 (36,000 feet).

Air France AF338 Paris-Seattle

Flight AF338 is currently diverting from track and initiating a descent. The nature of the emergency is not yet known.

The aircraft is currently in the Montreal Flight Information Region (FIR).

Update 15:25 UTC

The flight is now continuing descent below 10,000 feet in the vicinity of Iqaluit International Airport (YFB). The reason for the diversion and emergency declaration is still unclear.

Air France flight AF338 is now descending through 3,000 feet and appears to be setting up for an approach to the diversion airport of Iqaluit International Airport.

Update 15:40 UTC

Air France flight AF338 has now established on final approach for Iqaluit International Airport (YFB). The flight declared an emergency with transponder code 7700 before initiating the diversion to the nearby airport.

Update 15:45 UTC

Air France flight AF338, a B787-9 bound for Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA) from Paris, has now landed at the diversion airport of Iqaluit (YFB), having declared an emergency earlier today.

Boeing 787-9 F-HRBB

The aircraft conducting today’s long haul AF338 service to Seattle (SEA) is a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, registered F-HRBB.

This is a 7.2-year old widebody aircraft belonging to the French national carrier Air France.

Mike Burdett from CROMER, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Iqaluit Airport (YFB) is an international airport serving Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. It is located adjacent to the city and is the only airport with scheduled passenger service in Nunavut.

The airport serves as a major air gateway to the Baffin region communities, Greenland (during the summer months), Kuujjuaq, Northern Quebec, and western points such as Rankin Inlet and Yellowknife.

The Iqaluit Airport is a hub for Canadian North, First Air, and Air Nunavut airlines. It mainly handles scheduled passenger services and can handle any type of aircraft. There are daily jets from Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Yellowknife and other places.

Update 1846 BST…

Air France have commented on the incident over an hour ago saying:

“Air France confirms that the crew of flight #AF338 on 7 May 2024 from Paris (CDG) to Seatlle (SEA) in a Boeing 787-900 decided to divert to Iqaluit airport (YFB), Canada, following the appearance of a heat smell in the cabin.”

“This decision was taken in accordance with the manufacturer’s procedures, the airline’s instructions and in application of the precautionary principle.”

“The aircraft landed normally in Iqaluit at 11.44am (local time). Customers have disembarked and technical checks on the aircraft are underway.”

“These checks will determine whether the aircraft can continue its journey to Seattle or whether solutions need to be found to re-rout customers as quickly as possible.”

“Air France regrets the inconvenience caused by this situation and reiterates that the safety of its customers and crews is its absolute imperative.”

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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