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British Airways Passengers On Already Delayed Flight End Up Circling Around Singapore For Four Hours After A380 Weather Radar Breaks Down

British Airways Passengers On Already Delayed Flight End Up Circling Around Singapore For Four Hours After A380 Weather Radar Breaks Down

a large airplane flying in the sky

Up to 469 passengers on an already delayed British Airways service from Singapore to London Heathrow on Monday night ended up on a flight to nowhere after the weather radar on the Airbus A380 superjumbo broke down shortly after takeoff.

British Airways flight BA12 was scheduled to depart Singapore at 11:20 pm on Monday, but due to a separate technical issue, the bleary-eyed passengers had to sit on the double-deck jet for four hours before the plane eventually departed at 3:10 am.

a screenshot of a computer screen
Flight Radar 24

The 10-year-old aircraft then headed north towards Malaysia on what should have been a 13-hour flight to London, but after climbing to 27,000 feet, the pilots were forced to turn back around and head back to Singapore due to an issue with the weather radar.

Unfortunately for all the passengers onboard, it wasn’t simply a case of returning back to Singapore to get the radar fixed, as the massive quad-jet was full of fuel for the 6,700-mile flight to London.

As a result, the plane was forced to enter a holding pattern to burn off fuel in order to get the aircraft down to a safe weight to land as normal at Singapore Changi Airport.

Data from Flight Radar 24 shows the aircraft descending to 10,000 feet and then circling over and over again as fuel was burnt off. In the end, the aircraft circled off the coast of Singapore for four hours before eventually landing right back where it started.

The flight then had to be cancelled, and passengers were eventually transferred to hotels so that they could try again the following day.

British Airways has had a pretty torrid time with its fleet of Airbus A380s ever since they returned from an extended time in storage through the pandemic. Monday night’s A380 (registration: G-XLED) was put into long-term storage in March 2020 and didn’t return to active service for nearly two years in January 2022.

The carrier still views its A380s as an integral part of its fleet makeup, but they are posing a lot of problems and are frequently responsible for lengthy delays and cancellations.

In this case, it’s not just the passengers on flight 12 who have been affected, as the aircraft was scheduled to operate flight BA269 to Los Angeles on Tuesday. That flight has also now been cancelled as there aren’t any spare aircraft.

In a statement, a spokesperson for British Airways told us: “We are sorry for the delay to customers’ travel plans after the aircraft returned to Singapore Changi Airport as a precaution following a minor technical fault.”

“Our teams are working hard to get our customers where they need to be.”

View Comments (2)
  • I flew on one of BA’s 380s last November SFO-LHR. The flight was delayed 5 hours, causing me to miss my connecting flight to VIE.

  • Flightradar24 says that even the BA12 flight on the previous day, 21st April, was cancelled. Singapore hotels must have been filled with BA passengers!

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