Picture: Supplied

Durban - A FlySafair flight headed from Cape Town to Durban had to make an emergency landing minutes after take off. 

According to Kirby Gordon, Head of Sales and Distribution at FlySafair the FA 461 departed at 20:01 pm from Cape Town International. 

"During the climb the cabin crew were alerted to an issue regarding the cabin pressurisation systems and decided to turn back to Cape Town and implement the required safety procedures.

"In these circumstances crew are required to initiate full safety protocol, which the crew of FA 461 did with full professionalism. The pilots turned the aircraft back toward Cape Town and initiated what in aviation is referred to as a ‘rapid descent’.

Kirby said the aircraft had reached an altitude of approximately 20 000 feet above sea level when the crew initiated the descent action, with the aim to return the aircraft to 10 000 feet above sea level, where pressurisation is not a concern.

THIS VIDEO WAS RECORDED BY ONE OF THE PASSENGERS ON THE FLIGHT:

"In this process, as briefed at the beginning of each flight, oxygen masks deployed from overhead panels to provide enriched air for customers to breath during this quick descent.

"The aircraft then made a return to Cape Town International Airport where they landed safely just before 21:00."

He said the aircraft was met by assistance vehicles on the runway, so as to be able to attend to any issues should they have arisen. 

"Nobody aboard required any medical assistance after landing."
 
Gordon added: "Naturally, an occurrence such as this can be very upsetting to those on board. As soon as FA 461 landed in Cape Town the customers were met by our ground teams who were there to see to the needs of all.

"FlySafair immediately dispatched a standby aircraft to pick up the flight for those seeking to continue onto Durban, which most customers chose to do. The airline has also made counsellors available to any customers seeking to speak to someone professional regarding their experience.

"We would like to extend a sincere apology to our customers for the experience they had this evening, and for the inconvenience of having to turn back and have their journey delayed in this way."

He said airline regarded this as a top priority and an investigation into the cause of the technical issue is already underway.

IOL