An Emirates A380 ‘superjumbo’ jet was forced to return to Sydney only 20 minutes into a flight to Dubai following a mid-air emergency.
Passengers on flight EK413, which left Sydney on Sunday evening, said they saw a bright orange flash and felt the plane shake while the aircraft was still ascending.
Emirates said that the problem was caused by an engine fault and indicated that the issue was under investigation.
"Emirates flight EK413 from Sydney to Dubai on 11 November turned back shortly after take-off due to an engine fault,” the Dubai-based airline said in a statement.
“Passengers were re-booked on alternative flights or offered overnight hotel accommodation. Emirates is still investigating the cause of the fault and apologises for any inconvenience caused to its customers, however the safety of our passengers and crew is of the highest priority and will not be compromised."
The engine fault follows a similar incident which took place earlier this month, during which another Emirates A380, this time flying from Dubai to New York, made an emergency landing in Paris after the crew shut down the jet’s number-four engine.
Qantas, with which Emirates is negotiating a ten-year partnership deal, had to ground its entire A380 fleet in 2010 after an engine failure on one of its aircraft. However, the two carriers do not use the same engine supplier for the A380.
Emirates is the world’s biggest buyer of A380 aircraft. As of October, the carrier had taken delivery of 25 jets and plans to increase that number to 31 by the end of the year.
The carrier has a total of 90 A380 jets on firm order, and it has 216 aircraft, worth US$62bn, still to be delivered.