PIA Boeing 777-300ER Diverts To Muscat Due To Engine Troubles

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Summary

  • A Pakistan International Airlines flight diverted to Muscat due to engine troubles.
  • The aircraft completed the same flight without issue one month prior.
  • The airline faces financial struggles and has canceled hundreds of flights.

A Pakistan International Airlines aircraft diverted to Muscat International Airport (MCT) while operating flight PK714 from Medina Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (MED) to Islamabad International Airport (ISB) on March 6th. The flight suffered from engine troubles, which prompted the crew to land the aircraft.

The flight, PK714 was operated by a Boeing 777-300ER and departed from MED just after 8:20 in the morning. The flight was scheduled to take a little more than four hours and 20 minutes and departed at 09:00 On the day and at the time of the flight, weather conditions in Saudi Arabia, where the aircraft departed from, were fair, with partly cloudy skies that would dissipate shortly after takeoff and temperatures of 73° F (22° C).

Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777 at JFK
Photo: Leonard Zhukovsky | Shutterstock

The aircraft, registered as AP-BHV, had completed the same flight without issue less than a month earlier on February 21st. It was delivered to the airline in 2006. PIA, for its part, has four 777-300ERs, with two examples of the type in storage. AP-BHV was the first to be delivered to the airline. The airline additionally has eight 777-200s.

An hour after departure, AP-BHV was cruising enroute to ISB at 35,000 feet. Just shy of the halfway point, with the aircraft turning north over the Gulf of Oman heading to Pakistan, problems began to arise.

Problem arises

At 11:23 local time, the aircraft began to slow down and descend from its cruising altitude slightly. The flight crew had reported a problem with the engines. Ten minutes after the first signs of trouble, the aircraft had lost 3,000 feet of altitude and would turn towards MCT. At this point, one of the aircraft’s engines had failed completely.

By then, the aircraft had begun a higher rate of descent, typical for any diversion. When reaching 15,000 feet, about 20 minutes after the problem began, the aircraft briefly held its altitude. Holding at 15,000 feet was the first time since the start of the incident that the aircraft had flown straight and level.

Image of PIA714 radar tracks

Photo: Flightradar24.com

The aircraft landed safely on Runway 26R at MCT around 3 hours after departing MED. No injuries were reported. AP-BHV has remained on the ground since the incident. It is unclear how the passengers of the flight were transported to their original destination, but the airline currently offers regular service from MCT to ISB using its 777-200s.

The incident is the second PIA 777 to suffer engine failure in three months. On December 2, 2023, a PIA 777-200 was forced to return to Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport (KHI) after suffering an engine failure just after takeoff when the aircraft was only at 3,000 feet. That flight was originally inbound to MED.

That aircraft was manufactured in 2005 and previously in service with Vietnam Airlines, and had been impounded due to a lease dispute. PIA itself has struggled financially, causing the carrier to cancel more than 375 domestic and international flights. The government of Pakistan recently finalized its plans to sell the airline.



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