A Mumbai-London British Airways flight declared an emergency over Iranian airspace and was rerouted to land at the nearest major airport in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The apparent reason, by a passenger who seems to be on the flight, was smoke in the first class cabin of the flight.
The flight, BA198, was rerouted to Baku ‘squawking 7700’. That’s aviation code for when the crew of a flight declares an emergency and requests immediate assistance from all air traffic control centres in the region.
A trace of the flight path on flight-tracking site Flighradar showed BA198, a Boeing 777-300 ER, departing from Mumbai, flying into Pakistani airspace over Balochistan, entering Iranian airspace and issuing the emergency call just as it was about to leave Iranian air.
Flightradar said soon after notifying of the alert that the plane had touched down at Baku with a technical difficulty.
However, as is common in cases like this, there was little clarity on what this technical issue was. Till a tweet emerged from a person who seems to have been on the flight. Sylvia Traganida, a Greek journalist tweeted, “First 3.5-hour delay at #Mumbai due to #snow ? in #London. Now stuck in #Baku due to technical fault (smoke in 1st class). Makes me wish I were still in #Goa! ?? #India (not the best end to my #holiday).”
There has been no official word from British Airways on the incident yet, except for advisories that delays can be expected on flights routed through London, thanks to a snow storm.