- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- El Dorado International Airport, El Salvador International Airport
- Year Founded:
- Star Alliance
- Airline Group:
- Avianca Group
- Adrian Neuhauser
Avianca’s flight AV120 between Bogota El Dorado International Airport (BOG) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR) suffered an engine malfunction while cruising the Atlantic Ocean. The crew diverted to Lajes International Airport (TER), located on Terceira Island in the Azores, Portugal.
On Tuesday, an Avianca Boeing 787-8, registration N781AV, performing a flight between Bogota and London Heathrow, declared an emergency while en route at FL410 over the Atlantic Ocean. The aircraft was about 370 nautical miles north northwest of Lajes, Terceira Island (Portugal). The crew diverted to Lajes due to a problem with one of the Trent 1000 engines and landed safely about one hour after declaring the emergency.
Onboard the flight traveled 244 passengers and ten crew members, as reported by local media outlets.
According to Avianca, the passengers received assistance at Terceira Island from a supplier. Passengers were then transferred on a specially scheduled charter flight to assist them and transfer them to their final destination, London. Nonetheless, some passengers were unhappy with how Avianca handled the incident.
An Avianca’s flight between Bogota and London was diverted to the Azores Island following an engine malfunction. Photo: Getty Images.
Not a good service
It is never ideal when your flight gets diverted, canceled, or delayed. Airlines have to handle angry, confused, and worried passengers when that happens. According to some passengers and reported by the Spanish newspaper El País, Avianca did not live up to the quality standards while in Lajes.
The newspaper reported that the travelers had to wait nine hours inside a room without the possibility of leaving and only received two sandwiches while waiting for their charter flight. Moreover, once the flight was available, it did not take them to their final destination, London Heathrow. Instead, the flight landed at Gatwick Airport, an hour away from Heathrow. Wamos Air, a Spanish carrier, operated this flight.
Avianca stated that it followed the established protocols and regretted the inconveniences caused by a “challenging” situation. Nonetheless, a spokesperson of the Colombian airline did admit that the quality of the service provided to the passengers was not up to the standards set by Avianca. According to this person, Avianca had to depend on a third-party supplier to take care of its passengers since the company does not have employees in the Azores Islands.
Avianca has a fleet of 14 Boeing 787s (13 B787-8s and one 787-9). Photo: Daniel Martínez Garbuno | Simple Flying.
The aircraft involved in the incident
The plane involved in this incident is a Boeing 787-8 registration N781AV. Its MSN is 37503, according to ch-aviation, and has 7.94 years of age. It was first ordered by Avianca in October 2006 and had its first flight in October 2014. That same year it was delivered to the South American carrier, which fully owns the plane and does not lease it.
Avianca’s Boeing 787-8 has a capacity for 250 passengers in a two-class configuration, 222 in economy and 28 in business. The airline currently has thirteen 787-8s and one 787-9, with its overall fleet composed of 140 jetliners.
According to FlightRadar, the 787-8 registration N781AV continues in the Azores Island. The plane has not left Lajes Airport.
What do you think about this incident? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: The Aviation Herald, El País, ch-aviation.