American Airlines Flight Diverts to Glasgow Airport

An American Airlines flight departing from Frankfurt am Mein, Germany, bound for Dallas, USA, was forced to land at Glasgow Airport (GLA), Scotland, on Sunday 27th November, following reports of a “strong burning smell” onboard.

American Airlines Airbus A321
The Dallas-bound flight was forced to divert from its route only a short while into its journey © Alan Wilson

Mid-air emergency announced over the Orkney Isles

Flight AAL71 departed Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) at 11:13 a.m. (local time) to begin its 10-hour journey to Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The flight travelled as far as the Orkney Isles before diverting south to Glasgow Airport.

The crew used the Squawk 7700 code at an altitude of 35,000 ft to inform air traffic control of the emergency and to relay their need for assistance. In preparation for the emergency landing and to reduce its fuel weight, the aircraft began to dump fuel.

The aircraft, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, landed safely at Glasgow Airport at 12:25 p.m. (local time). Paramedics and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service had been summoned to the airport to provide assistance but were stood down shortly after the flight landed. No injuries related to the incident have been reported.

Glasgow Airport, Scotland
The emergency services were summoned to the Scottish airport in preparation for the emergency landing © Emirates EK27

Possible mechanical fault to blame for the diversion

At the time of the incident, reports emerged of a strong burning smell onboard, the source of which has not been disclosed at the time of writing. However, the airline later confirmed that the diversion was necessitated by a possible mechanical fault.

Regarding the incident, a spokesperson for the airline commented:

“American Airlines flight AAL71 from Frankfurt (FRA) to Dallas–Fort Worth (DFW) diverted to Glasgow International Airport (GLA) in Scotland, due to a possible mechanical issue. The aircraft landed safely and taxied to the gate. Our maintenance team is evaluating the aircraft. We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans, and we apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused.”

Have you ever been on a flight that has had to be diverted? Let us know in the comments!

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Rachel Dunster
Rachel Dunster
Aviation Reporter


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