Qantas flight QF1 was 10 hours into its flight on the leg from Singapore to London when an alarm went off in the cockpit indicating a fire in the cargo hold.
The flight did a 180 degree turn near Tbilisi, squawked 7700 and landed safely at Heydar Aliyev Airport in Baku, where it was met by emergency services.
“The aircraft intermittently alerted the pilots to the potential of smoke in the cargo hold. Although it was considered likely to be a sensor fault, the aircraft diverted to Baku as a safety precaution. Initial investigations have found no evidence of smoke in the cargo hold,” the spokeswoman said. “We thank customers for their patience and we are working to get them on their way as quickly as possible.”
Engineers will inspect the aircraft prior to continuing its journey,” the spokesperson said.
Baku airport released a statement via social media stating that the emergency landing request was due to smoke generated in the cargo compartment. The statement said there were no injuries and that the plane landed at 7:08am local time. There were 356 passengers onboard, the statement said.
Baku airport’s statement noted that this was not the first time an A380 had made an emergency landing at the airport, because it had sufficiently long runways to accommodate and service the superjumbo.