A transatlantic passenger jet was forced to divert to Shannon Airport this afternoon after the crew reported a suspected fuel leak.
United Airlines flight UA-973 was travelling from Brussels, Belgium to Chicago in the U.S. at the time. There were 164 passengers a crew of 11 on board.
The flight was about 250 kilometres off the Mayo coast when the crew advised air traffic controllers to their issue.
The Boeing 767-300(ER) jet was cleared to turn around and divert to Shannon where it touched down safely at 12.42pm. Airport fire and rescue crews were standing by for the aircraft.
Other crews carried out a runway inspection to ensure the surface hadn’t been contaminated by aviation fuel. Once it was confirmed there had been no spillage on the runway, flight operations continued without delay.
In the meantime, the aircraft taxied to the terminal accompanied fire crews. The jet was also met by ground handing agents and engineers.
A spokesman for the airline said: Our team at Shannon Airport is providing assistance to customers of United flight 973 (Brussels – Chicago O’Hare) today which diverted to Shannon Airport to address a technical issue. The aircraft landed safely at 12:42 p.m. (local time). We are making arrangements for our customers to complete their journeys today. We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience caused.”
The flight is expected to continue to Chicago at 7.00pm.