Mystery smell forces Cathay Pacific flight U-turn

Photo courtesy of Brand Inside

Cathay Pacific Airwaysflight CX 633, destined for Penang, Malaysia, found itself making an unexpected U-turn to Hong Kong International Airport due to an unusual smell in the cabin post-takeoff.

The Airbus A330 had taken off on its scheduled Sunday morning, January 28, departure at 8.15am, only to encounter this bizarre situation. The Hong Kong flag carrier revealed that the decision to return was in line with safety protocols.

“[The flight] made a precautionary return to Hong Kong in accordance with standard procedure after receiving a report of an unusual smell in the cabin after takeoff.”

Despite the dramatic mid-air turnaround, the airline assured that no passengers or crew members suffered any injuries during the incident. Once back at the airport by 8.53am, affected passengers were offered refuge in a lounge, along with meal coupons. The airline promptly arranged for their departure on an alternate flight at 12.30pm, reported Bangkok Post.

Cathay Pacific assured the public that a comprehensive inspection of the Airbus A330 would be conducted promptly to identify the cause of the mysterious smell. This incident follows a trend, reminiscent of last October when a flight to Madrid faced a recall due to a system anomaly. In that same month, a Japan-bound flight with over 290 passengers also had to return to Hong Kong after a cargo door was found unlocked.

In related news, Cathay Pacific Airways welcomed 100 cabin crew members from mainland China, marking the first intake from its recruitment initiative in the region. The new staff members are set to spearhead the airline’s goal to bring onboard 1,500 individuals from across the border by 2025.

Mandy Ng, Cathay’s director of service delivery, stated that hiring Mandarin-speaking flight attendants was a natural development aimed at enhancing staff diversity. She emphasised that the new hires would bolster Cathay’s diverse crew base, enabling them to better serve their international clientele.

Aviation NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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