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Lufthansa Jet Forced to Land by Cabin-Pressure Alert

Deutsche Lufthansa AG said an Airbus SAS plane carrying 66 passengers returned to Tbilisi, Georgia, today after instruments indicated a drop in cabin pressure.

The single-aisle A319 aircraft, which was headed for Munich, landed safely after 45 minutes in the air, spokesman Thomas Jachnow said in a phone interview. Oxygen masks weren’t released, though the jet had reached cruising altitude, he said.

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze was booked on the flight, his deputy Nino Kalandadze told reporters in the Georgian capital. Travelers were rebooked with other airlines and Cologne, Germany-based Lufthansa sent a technician to Tbilisi to ascertain the source of the problem.

Jachnow said it wasn’t immediately apparent whether the incident was caused by an actual air-pressure drop or an instrument malfunction. A pressure failure would ordinarily trigger the automatic deployment of masks.

Five people aboard a Boeing Co. 737 operated by Lufthansa suffered light injuries when cabin-pressure problems triggered a priority landing on Oct. 19.

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