Chaotic Flight: Gulf Air Boeing 787
A fuel leak resulted in a Gulf Air Boeing 787-9 diverting to Frankfurt. This left passengers stranded for hours, reportedly neglected by the airline.
On August 15th, a Gulf Air Boeing 787-9 flying from London to Bahrain diverted to Frankfurt due to a fuel leak. The crew landed safely, reportedly using only one engine. Technical issues aside, passengers on the affected flight may have been improperly looked after upon landing in Frankfurt.
Operating as flight GF2, a Gulf Air Boeing 787-9 registered A9C-FD had to divert to Frankfurt/Main Airport in Germany. As reported by The Aviation Herald, the jet, en route from London to Bahrain, was cruising at FL350 and almost directly over the city of Frankfurt when the decision to divert was made.
The jet turned over the area of Karlstadt am Main and positioned itself for an approach from the northeast to land on runway 25C approximately 30 minutes after descending from cruising altitude. FlightRadar24.com data indicates that the landing took place at about 12:50 local time.
As the aircraft was on its final approach, the crew of the 787-9 advised air traffic control that they would be able to vacate the runway. However, the aircraft had a fuel leak and was flying with one of its engines off.
A9C-FD, bearing manufacturer's serial number (MSN) 39983 and Line Number 762, was delivered to the airline in November 2018 and is 4.8 years old at the time of this article's publication.
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The aircraft remained on the ground at Frankfurt for about 30 hours before departing for Bahrain as special flight GFA002D.
The airline reported that its affected Dreamliner diverted due to a technical issue and was working to take the passengers to Bahrain as soon as possible. While this may have happened eventually, affected travelers reported having difficulty at the diversion airport.
The Aviation Herald noted that, even after being at Frankfurt airport for seven hours, passengers were left without any information and food, with some also dependent on medical supplies. It was also reported that no accommodation had been arranged.
Posting a comment on the incident report issued by The Aviation Herald, an individual states that he was on the affected flight and "witnessed various failings from Gulf Air" and was discriminated against by the German police. The individual then goes on to say:
"I will be taking the Airline to court for various reasons, including delays of baggage, no food or water in the airport and being kept on the plane for three hours after landing and the loss of three days of my honeymoon in the Maldives!"
It's worth noting that, with the flight going from the UK to Bahrain, the legal situation for stranded passengers would have been complicated due to the need to bring them landside for accommodations. Presumably, some passengers onboard would not have had the proper clearance to enter the EU.
Gulf Air operates a daily service between Frankfurt and Bahrain using an Airbus A321neo. Despite the reduced capacity when compared to the 787-9, this may have been one opportunity for the airline to get at least some passengers to their final destination.
Sources: Planespotters.net, FlightRadar24.com, ch-aviation.com, The Aviation Herald
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