Singapore Air Flight Diverted After Cabin Loses Pressure

Singapore Airlines Ltd. diverted an Airbus SAS A380 superjumbo carrying 467 passengers to an airport in Azerbaijan after the aircraft, headed to Singapore from London, lost cabin pressure.

Singapore Air Flight 317 landed at Baku airport at 1:03 a.m. local time, the carrier said in an e-mailed statement today. Another A380 plane is headed to Baku and will fly the passengers and 27 cabin crew to Singapore, it said.

Airbus, based in Toulouse, France, is following up on the issue and providing technical assistance to the airline, said Sean Lee, a spokesman at the planemaker. Singapore Air was the world’s first carrier to operate the A380 and had 19 in its fleet as of Dec. 1. It has five more on order.

Baku airport is a designated alternative airfield that can handle the superjumbo plane, Singapore Air said. The plane can carry as many as 471 passengers.

Chief Executive Officer Goh Choon Phong ordered $17 billion of new, fuel-efficient aircraft from Airbus and Boeing Co. last year in a bid to fend off competition from carriers such as Emirates and AirAsia Bhd., which are expanding in Asia. The average age of Singapore Air’s fleet was six years and seven months as of Dec. 1, according to its website.

China Southern Airlines Co.’s Flight CZ3000 returned to Beijing in March 2012 after the A380 experienced problems with the cabin pressure system. The plane was on its way to Guangzhou with 418 passengers on board.

Airbus has delivered 122 A380s to 10 airlines worldwide since commercial flights began in 2007, Airbus said on its website. Emirates, the world’s biggest operator of superjumbos, last year ordered an additional 50 units valued at $20 billion at list price.

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