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Virgin leaves Irkutsk

By The Siberian Times reporter
22 July 2014

Passengers on way to London after an unscheduled stopover in Paris of Siberia.

The reason for emergency landing request was equipment reporting smoke at the luggage compartment. Picture: Irkutsk airport

British Olympic diver Tom Daley was among 286 passengers and 16 crew on board a Virgin Atlantic 340-600 Airbus which made an emergency landing in the Siberian city of Irkutsk after fears of smoke on board.

The passengers thanked hotels in Irkutsk after their unexpected stopover in the historic Siberian city en route from Shangai to London. 

Earlier there was some concern from the famous British sportsman.

He tweeted: 'Scary to emergency land in RUS after recent events, yet no word on what problem is after hour surrounded by fire engines #VirginAtlantic".

Yet several expressed their thanks for the 'warm Siberian welcome' - which is nothing less than we would expect.

Virgin leaves Siberia -passengers on way to London after an unscheduled stopover in Paris of Siberia


Virgin leaves Siberia -passengers on way to London after an unscheduled stopover in Paris of Siberia


Virgin leaves Siberia -passengers on way to London after an unscheduled stopover in Paris of Siberia

'Virgin sent an Airbus A330 from London with engineers, and the same aircraft took the passengers onwards to London, leaving at 20.20 local time'. 

 Pictures: Irkutsk airport

Irkutsk Airport general director Konstantin Bylinin said: 'The Virgin Atlantic 340-600 Airbus emergency landing that happened yesterday showed the high professionalism our of members of staff. They did their job as a very well-organised team in an emergency situation.

'At the same time it showed that our airport hasn't yet got enough capacity to accept planes as big as the 340-600. I mean the terminal and parking areas. 

'We are hoping to solve the issue of runway reconstruction, two stages of which have been completed in years 2010 and 2011, as well as finalising agreements on new building of the international terminal. 

'We are hoping to have it solved soon, so that we can start building shortly. 

'There have been several times when the International airport of Irkutsk have been serving foreign planes in situations of emergency landing. 

'We had a French airlines Boeing from Seoul to Paris on 17 December 2005, when the pilot requested the landing because one of the engines failed; there was a passenger suffering from a heart attack on board of 747 Boeing flight from London to Hong Kong on 19 October 2007.

'Last year on 28 August another 747 Boeing en route from London to Hong Kong landed here because of the reported equipment failure'.

Virgin leaves Siberia -passengers on way to London after an unscheduled stopover in Paris of Siberia

British Olympic diver Tom Daley was among 286 passengers and 16 crew on board a Virgin Atlantic 340-600 Airbus which made an emergency landing in the Siberian city of Irkutsk after fears of smoke on board. Picture: Tom Daley's Instagram

Virgin sent an Airbus A330 from London with engineers, and the same aircraft took the passengers onwards to London, leaving at 20.20 local time. 

The reason for emergency landing request was equipment reporting smoke at the luggage compartment.

Irkutsk airport received the alarm signal at 17.40 local time on Monday. At 18.11 local time the plane successfully landed, with no-one injured during the landing. The plane was examined, no traces of fire were found. 

Daley Tweeted on Tuesday: 'We are coming home!!!! Flight leaves in around an hour, can't wait to be back home! Thanks for working hard to get us home @VirginAtlantic'.

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