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.”