Transatlantic jet forced into emergency landing in Iceland

Photo: Hilmar Bragi - Víkurfréttir

Fire engines, ambulances and helicopters were dispatched to Keflavík International Airport (KEF) this weekend after a transatlantic passenger jet sent out a mayday call for an emergency landing.

A WestJet Boeing 767 carrying 258 passengers from London to Edmonton, Canada, requested an emergency landing at KEF after the flight crew detected diminished power in one of the aircraft’s two engines.

Photo: ICE-SAR

Two Icelandic Coast Guard helicopters were sent to the airport, as well as fire crews and three ambulances. A total of 130 search and rescue operatives were on standby.

Since the aircraft was flying normally, the crew decided to circle before landing in order to burn off fuel. The airliner finally landed safely at 2:40pm.

Photo: Hilmar Bragi - Víkurfréttir

The passengers were put up in a hotel for the night and continued their onward journey to Canada in two WestJet airliners flown into Iceland yesterday.

“We take no chances in such cases,” says Guðni Sigurðsson, spokesperson for airport operator Isavia. “And we mobilise a greater response team than is maybe necessary.”

Photo: Hilmar Bragi - Víkurfréttir

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