Air France plane to leave Iqaluit Tuesday night after making emergency landing

Plane making 8,000-km Paris-to-Seattle flight diverted; passengers remained in plane 4 hours before being taken to airport terminal

An Air France plane sits parked at the Iqaluit airport after it was forced to make an emergency landing there Tuesday morning midway on its flight from Paris, France, to Seattle, Wash. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Jeff Pelletier
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
and Gord Howard

Updated Friday, May 10 at 8:45 a.m. ET

Close to 12 hours after making an emergency landing in Iqaluit, passengers on a flight from Paris to Seattle are expected to resume their 8,000-kilometre trip late Tuesday night.

The Air France Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which left Paris at about 4 a.m. EDT, was forced to land in Iqaluit shortly before noon after a “heat smell” was detected in the cabin, the airline posted on social media at about noon on Tuesday.

A Nunatsiaq News reporter was at the scene in Iqaluit when the plane landed. There was no outward sign of smoke or other mechanical issues coming from the airplane.

Ambulances and other emergency vehicles wait near the runway of the Iqaluit airport on Tuesday, where an Air France flight made a landing shortly before noon. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

Two airport fire trucks were standing by as well as one City of Iqaluit fire truck, two ambulances and several vehicles from the RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency.

In its noontime social media post, Air France said it expected passengers to begin disembarking soon. It said the plane would undergo technical checks to “determine whether the aircraft can continue its journey to Seattle or whether solutions need to be found to re-route customers.”

A school bus arrived at the airport at about 12:30 p.m. and parked close to the plane.

Passengers were still in the plane around 2 p.m. when Trevor Kornaga, who said he was a passenger on the plane, said in a message to Nunatsiaq News on X that passengers were being served food and were able to use the restrooms while they waited.

“We’re still waiting in our seats,” he said.

However, it wasn’t until about 4 p.m. that the bus began transporting the passengers to the airport terminal.

They appeared to make themselves comfortable in the departures area. Security guards put up rope blocking the passengers from entering the pre-screening side of the airport. RCMP officers were also inside the terminal.

There were 262 passengers and 10 crew members on board, said Weichien Chan, a spokesperson for the Department of Economic Development and Transportation, in an email late Tuesday afternoon.

Chan said Air France was sending a replacement aircraft from Montreal.

In an update on its website late Tuesday afternoon, Air France said the plane would fly out of Iqaluit at 11:20 p.m.

It’s expected to make a stop at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York city at 2:35 a.m. Wednesday, then take off again at 4:30 a.m. and arrive in Seattle at 6:30 a.m.

Correction: This article has been updated to correctly reflect the distance between Paris, France, and Seattle, Wash.





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(17) Comments:

  1. Posted by Eskimo Joe©️ on

    Local cravers are standing by ready to make the nights alcohol rations cash🤑
    odeur de chaleur Not in the emergency handbook, pilots might be looking for jobs soon🤣

  2. Posted by Northerner on

    So, the passengers left a secured airport in France in a plane headed for Seattle. And had to make emergency landing in iqaluit nunavut. How were they allowed to get off the plane and into a non secured terminal? They should be penalized. What if they brought in sickness? What if they had something else? Were the passengers put through security check prior to getting off and on the plane again? If not, you guys need to be fined. Both airlines and terminal in iqaluit.

    • Posted by beedoop on

      do you… do you really not know that people go through security screenings before they get ON the plane?

    • Posted by Oh for god’s sake… on

      Did you not read the article? They were kept on the departures side of the secure terminal, and RCMP were there making sure no one crossed over to the pre-screening side. Iqaluit airport did everything properly here. There’s no greater risk for illness than for anyone else coming up from Ottawa, and for ‘something else’, what exactly do you think one of these passengers are going to do? They are tired, and just want to wait until they can get underway again. No one is getting off this plane thinking “wow an emergency landing was scary, but now that we’ve landed in Iqaluit I can fulfill my dream of taking hostages in a Canadian airport and demanding all their maple syrup!”

      • Posted by Ben on

        Haha! I doubt they would find much of the liquid gold up there. Maybe some caribou and seal meat lol!

      • Posted by Bruce Brown on

        Perfect reply! If this guy had been crossing the Red Sea with Moses, he probably would have said, “Yeah, you parted the waters, but my new sandals are ruined now!”

      • Posted by Srsly? on

        Northerner, please read articles before embarrassing yourself.
        You’re likely the sort of person who finds fault with everything. Plane makes an emergency landing, everyone is safe and removed from the plane while its inspected. No deaths, no injuries. Yet, here you are with asinine comments.

        This ‘sue/ fine everyone for everything’ attitude is silly.

        Show some gratitude and respect for the pilots and Canadian personnel who coordinated a safe process.

        Be better !!!

        • Posted by Bad Da Simeonie on

          Remember the new boing plane in alaska that lost a door in flight ? and shorthly after an enginer from boing reported unsafe assembling and bulding of new boeing. planes buildt. as corners were cut to save money without any care in the world for people lifes and safety in the sky or on the grown. wondering if thats the same Boing plane model ???

          • Posted by Oh for god’s sake… on

            its not. This is a 787 Dreamliner. The plane that lost the door plug was a 737 Max 9 model plane. still worrying, but not the same issue

    • Posted by Garnett Robinson on

      Gotta love those who comment without reading the story. You must have missed the part of the story that said “Security guards put up rope blocking the passengers from entering the pre-screening side of the airport. RCMP officers were also inside the terminal.”

    • Posted by Airports on

      I can only assume that you’ve never been in an airport. There’s secure side and non secure side at every major airport. What do they need to be penalized for? And why would they need to go through security while coming off the plane? And why would they need to go through security again before going back on? They’ve already went through security in France, remained secured on the plane and on the departure side which is the secure side. Airports all over the world have security and Iqaluit is no exception. And for good measure, the RCMP were at the airport. Anyone can bring sickness from all over, not just foreign countries. Common sense isn’t so common

    • Posted by Ashley on

      Being one of those passengers stuck on that plane for almost 4 hours and then detained in a small area again for 8 more hours, we still have so much gratitude to the airport staff and emergency personnel of the town. Let’s not mention how much revenue that was made at the local cafe. We cleared out that store down to its last candy bar and souvenirs. I will call that a win for you guys.

    • Posted by Jindabyne on

      Northerner: please READ anything and everything before you put a nonsensical comment. You are doing a “tRump”. (Stupid comment)

  3. Posted by TGC on

    An online site “flight aware dot com” with live tracking, and a shout out to Russell Brand in jolly auld England.


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