- An Air New Zealand flight diverted to Guam due to an unidentified odor on Friday.
- Local engineers conducted a thorough review and clearance of the aircraft before it was deemed safe to continue the flight.
- Passengers were provided with accommodations in Guam.
Travelers onboard a flight between Taiwan and New Zealand had an unexpected diversion to the US territory of Guam early Friday morning when the crew decided to divert out of caution due to an unspecified odor.
Air New Zealand flight 78 (NZ-78) departed Taipei and was enroute to Auckland. Around two hours into its ten-hour flight, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner diverted north to Guam Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport (GUM).
The slice of the US in the Northern Pacific.
As reported by New Zealand news outlet Stuff, a passenger stated that the smell was similar to an electrical burn. However, many passengers had ‘no idea what was going on.’ However, it appears firefighters entered the aircraft on arrival at Guam.
Diverted out of an abundance of safety
Air New Zealand, which operates NZ-78 thrice weekly to Taipei Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), departed on the evening of February 1st at 18:52, some 22 minutes behind its usual departure time of 18:30 local time. The flight quickly climbed to its cruising altitude of 35,000 feet to make the ten-hour southeast trip to Auckland International Airport (AKL).
Less than a quarter of the way into the flight, the aircraft diverted because of an odor that could not be mitigated. It touched down in Guam at around 02:30 on the morning of February 2nd. Passengers were then required to remain on the aircraft for five hours before they could deplane.
Photo: Carlos Yudica | Shutterstock
According to data from Flightradar24.com, the aircraft remained on the apron until 15:43, where it then operated a 45-minute test flight.
Around 300 displaced passengers and crew remained in Guam overnight until the aircraft, registered as ZK-NZF, was ready to return to the sky and could operate without issue to Auckland. The plane touched down in the City of Sails at 06:55 on February 4th.
The airline only managed 12.3 million passengers in 2022 due to continuing COVID-19 border restrictions.
Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan noted that local engineers completed a full review and service of the area where the odor came from before certifying the aircraft was ready to take off, according to the New Zealand Herald.
“The checks all came up clear and following a short verification flight operated by our crew, the aircraft was cleared to continue onto Auckland. The safety of our customers and our people is our number one priority, so it was important to run through these engineering checks as a precaution. The aircraft arrived safely in Auckland at 6:55am this morning.
“Our team worked to provide accommodation for as many customers as possible overnight in Guam. Those who booked their own accommodation will be able to claim compensation for associated costs.”
Photo: viper-zero | Shutterstock
ZK-NZF was delivered to Air New Zealand on September 27, 2014. According to Airfleets.net, it is powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines and can seat up to 18 business, 21 premium economy, and 263 economy class passengers.
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Auckland Airport, Christchurch Airport, Wellington Airport
- Year Founded:
- Star Alliance
- Greg Foran
- New Zealand