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Emirates emergency landing: “staff panicked more than the passengers”
The report on Emirates Airline's engine failure at 10,000 feet really worries us, but the passenger reviews worry us even more.
November 13, 2012 9:24 by Muhammad Aldalou
“It’s not who you are underneath but what you do that defines you” is a quote that Kipp is particularly fond of.
Passengers on board an Emirates aircraft were distraught as a Dubai-bound flight that took off from Sydney was forced to turn back 20 minutes later and make an emergency landing as one of its engines reportedly exploded. At the time, the plane was at an altitude of 10,000 feet.
Countless brands and multinational conglomerates have become very adapt at articulating their unwavering philosophies, values and policies upon which they govern themselves. At the end of the day, nobody pays much attention when times are good, but when challenges arise; people can then experience the sometimes harsh reality themselves.
“Emirates is still investigating the cause of the fault and apologises for any inconvenience caused to its customers, however the safety of our passengers and crew is of the highest priority and will not be compromised,” the airline was quoted in a statement.
According to the Daily Telegraph, passengers claimed to both feel and hear a rather loud explosion, see a bright flash of orange and notice one of the wings ‘catch fire’. Whether or not a fire did erupt has not been confirmed because of contradicting testimonies from various passengers. The Dubai-based airline later issued an additional statement denying it but they did admit that passengers may have indeed seen a flash.
“I saw a flash,” John Fothergill, 49, from Auckland, said to the paper. “I thought it could have been lightning but then we saw flames come out of the engine. The whole interior of the A380 lit up. You’d have to say there were 2m or 3m flames. (The) explosion shook the plane.”
For an aircraft to resort to an emergency landing – even as a mere precautionary measure – is sadly not uncommon in the aviation world. In fact, Emirates Airline has had more than a few ‘engine fault’ situations in recent days including a Dubai-JFK flight that was forced to land at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris the day before this incident, and an A330 that had an engine failure taking off from Lusaka in October.
One of the passengers, a doctor, criticised the staff on not being organised and neglecting to attend to the Arabic-speaking passengers. Now, Kipp is merely echoing various media reports and framing them into perspective but when a world-class airline – that has now become internationally renowned for its service – finds itself in a pickle at 10,000 feet above the ground, one would expect to read more positive reviews than what Dr. Amal Aburawi and some of the other passengers said.
“The staff panicked more than the passengers.”
“I’m a frequent flyer on Emirates,” continued Dr Aburawi. “Usually its Arabic announcement following the English, this time no one mentioned anything in Arabic and there (were) many Arabic passengers, many of them old ladies.”
Emirates Airline released an apology statement and announced that all passengers were ‘being re-booked on alternative flights’.