A Jetstar A330-200 aircraft operating directly between Osaka and the Gold Coast has made an emergency in-flight diversion to Guam International Airport.
Flight JQ 20 departed Osaka (Kansai International Airport) at 20.50 pm local time/ 22.50 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) bound for the Gold Coast.
The pilots experienced smoke in the cockpit followed by the right hand cockpit window area catching fire, before being extinguished by technical crew approximately 3 hours and 50 minutes into the flight operating direct to Australia.
It is understood the fire was caused by a windscreen demister connector. The cockpit window fire was contained to the cockpit of the aircraft before it was extinguished.
Jetstar parent company Qantas has denied claims made by the federal secretary of an aviation engineering union that the aircraft’s heavy maintenance check conducted in Manila had contributed to the incident.
Group executive Qantas airlines operations Lyell Strambi said the aircraft was delivered new to Jetstar in 2007.
“It has since undergone a number of routine maintenance checks – most recently by Qantas Engineering in Melbourne in May this year, while its one and only heavy maintenance check was done by Lufthansa Technik in Manila in December 2008.”
“Qantas always has high levels of oversight in place, so where maintenance takes place is not relevant,” Mr Strambi said. “The electrical connector that caused the Jetstar incident was not part of the work undertaken in Manila last year.
“There has been no requirement to touch this component since the aircraft was delivered, there is no history of it being an issue with our A330 fleet and there have been no directives from Airbus covering this component.
The A330-200 Osaka-Gold Coast service was carrying 186 passengers, 13 crew (including 9 cabin crew and 4 pilots) and 4 infants.
The majority of passengers are Japanese nationals in addition to some overseas nationals and a small number of Australians, the final number to be confirmed.
The aircraft landed without incident into Guam International Airport at 02.20am local time / 02.20am AEST.
All passengers and Jetstar crew are safe and there are no reports of injuries. Passengers were successfully disembarked around one hour after arrival into Guam.
All passengers were addressed by Jetstar crew, were cleared through Customs and Immigration in Guam, and are now being accommodated in local hotels in Guam. Alternative flight arrangements have now been made for them to continue to Australia.
Passenger and Jetstar crew recovery will occur through a Jetstar A330-200 aircraft departing this morning from Sydney to Guam and returning to Brisbane International Airport.
Aircraft engineers in Guam are currently inspecting the aircraft and Jetstar have both advised and are working proactively with relevant authorities.