A British Airways Airbus A320 made two emergency landings in similar circumstances in just three days.
The 22-year-old A320-200 G-EUUC (c/n 1696) was operating flight BA336 from London/Heathrow to Marseille/Provence this morning (September 25) when it made an emergency descent from 33,000ft to 10,000ft approximately three minutes after reaching cruising altitude.
During its descent, flight tracking data suggests vertical speeds reached nearly 6,000fpm.
The jet subsequently squawked emergency 7700 and made a U-turn near Paris and routed back to Heathrow for a safe landing.
Meanwhile, three days earlier on September 22, the same A320 – this time operating flight BA508 connecting the London hub with Faro – experienced a similar scenario when it conducted an emergency descent from 35,000ft to 10,000ft approximately four minutes after reaching cruising altitude.
The twinjet made a U-turn and took up a hold near Brest in northwest France. After about 20 minutes, the aircraft routed back to Heathrow where it landed safely.
In a statement to Key.Aero, a British Airways spokesperson attributed the diversions to a “minor technical issue”.
In relation to today’s flight, the spokesperson added: “We’ve apologised to our customers for the disruption to their journey and our teams are working hard to get them on their way as soon as possible.”
Travellers on Friday’s flight were “rebooked and travelled the next day”.
G-EUUC is powered by two IAE V2500 turbofans and is configured to seat 180 passengers in a single-class layout.
The narrowbody was delivered to the flag carrier in February 2002. In 2019, it donned a red nose cone as part of British Airways' Red Nose Day 2019 activities in support of the charity.