A Qantas scheduled flight operating between Cairns and Melbourne has been forced to return to Cairns following an in-flight shutdown of one of its engines.
According to Australian news source 9 News, the airline described the incident as a “controlled shutdown” of one engine.
Qantas flight QF703, operated by a Boeing 737-800 registered VH-VZO, had departed Cairns International Airport (CNS) in Queensland just after 2 PM local time today and was scheduled to land in Melbourne (MEL) at 4:30 PM Australian Eastern Standard Time.
The aircraft reportedly departed Cairns normally, before making an unscheduled return to the Queensland airport at 3:34 PM local time, following the shutdown of one of its engines in-flight.
The aircraft turned back just south of Tully in Far North Queensland. No emergency services were required for the subsequent return landing at Cairns.
It is uncertain at this point as to what the nature of the engine issue was, and it is understood that Qantas engineers are now investigating.