A Qatar Airways Airbus A330 had to make an emergency landing in Istanbul after one of its engines caught fire following a bird strike. Flight 240 took off Friday headed for Doha at 1:20 pm local time and then after the strike and fire, made a U-turn and landed back in Istanbul 40 minutes later.
Soon after take-off, the aircraft’s left engine was struck by birds over the Marmara Sea which caused the engine to burst into flames.Twin-engine planes like the A330 can fly safely with a single engine, and there are safeguards to stop fires from spreading, including fire extinguishers inside the engines that can be activated from the cockpit.The 298 passengers and 14-member flight crew all disembarked safely.
The airline blamed the fire on Flight QR240 on bird strike. ‘Qatar Airways can confirm that QR240 from Istanbul to Doha experienced a bird strike, which resulted in its safe return to Istanbul. ‘All 298 passengers and 14 crew disembarked safely. ‘Customer needs, including onward travel, will be taken care of by the airline. The safety of our passengers is our most important responsibility. The pilot followed all safety procedures.’ Turkish media said the airline would send a replacement aircraft to Istanbul to ferry waiting passengers onward to its hub in the new Hamad International Airport in Doha. Qatar Airways is one of the Mideast’s three biggest carriers, alongside the region’s biggest carrier, the Dubai-based Emirates Airline, and the Abu-Dhabi based Etihad Airways. The three have increasingly challenged Western airlines in long-haul flights. Qatar Airways flies out of its hub in the vast new Hamad International Airport in Doha, which is preparing to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The carrier has a fleet of 190 aircraft flying to over 150 destinations.