Hong Kong-bound Cathay Dragon flight forced to make emergency landing in Taiwan

A Cathay Dragon jet takes off in 2017. A Cathay Dragon flight from Taiwan to Hong Kong was forced to make an emergency landing today after experiencing a technical issue with one engine. Photo via Flickr/Chung ChengYen.

A Cathay Dragon flight from Taiwan to Hong Kong made an emergency landing today at the city it departed from after experiencing a “technical issue” shortly after takeoff, the carrier said.

Cathay Pacific, the parent company of Cathay Dragon, said flight KA451 from Kaohsiung to Hong Kong made an “air return” and landed safely back at the southern Taiwanese city.

An official with Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration told AFP the emergency was caused by a “technical failure on one of the engines,” and denied Taiwanese media reports that the plane had hit a bird.

The official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak with the media, added an investigation was now under way.

Apple Daily cited local aviation officials as saying the plane’s right engine emitted smoke during takeoff and that local residents nearby said they had heard an explosive sound.

Cathay said the aircraft was an Airbus A330, and said arrangements were being made to get passengers on new flights.

The incident was the just the latest air travel-related horror story to affect Hong Kong travelers.

In early February, a pilots strike in Taiwan saw flights to Hong Kong canceled, while just days earlier, a Virgin Atlantic flight to London sat on the tarmac at Hong Kong International for seven hours before being canceled after it burst a tire moments after pulling away from the terminal. The month before, a Hong Kong-bound flight from Newark was forced land to deal with a medical emergency, only to become stranded overnight on a frigid Canadian runway after one of its doors malfunctioned.

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