Turkish Airlines responds after flight diverted to OR Tambo
Turkish Airlines has released an official statement regarding the diversion of its Flight TK45 from Cape Town to Istanbul on Thursday night.
Initial reports said that the flight was declared an emergency at 7:45pm on Thursday evening after its landing gear would not retract.
In response to the incident, it said: "Due to a technical problem occurring on Turkish Airlines' TC-JNI tail-coded, A330 type aircraft, TK45 Cape Town (CPT) - Istanbul (IST), after its take-off from Cape Town Airport, the aircraft was diverted safely to OR Tambo International Johannesburg Airport to conduct the necessary technical inspections by the authorized technical team of the airline."
The Airbus A330-343 did patterns around Cape Town, burning fuel, before the decision was made to divert the plane to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport due to the increased size of the runway.
The Aviation Herald reported that the flight “was climbing out of Cape Town’s runway 19 when the crew was unable to retract the landing gear and stopped the climb at FL080. The aircraft entered a hold to work the checklists and burn off fuel.”
Happening now: Turkish Airlines’ Airbus A330-300 (TC-JNI, 9 years old) is in a holding pattern, 45 minutes after taking off from Cape Town bound for Istanbul, flight TK45. One ground observer said the nose gear didn’t retract. @flightradar24 pic.twitter.com/2oN3BZBz9h— Aeronews (@AeronewsGlobal) January 2, 2020
Flight data showed that the plane was an Airbus A330-343, flight number TK45. It could be seen circling over waters west of Cape Town at an altitude of around 20 000 feet for some time after taking off, according to flight tracking data on flightradar24.com.
The South African reported that emergency crews were deployed at OR Tambo's runway as a precautionary measure.