Police in Cyprus have confirmed that the world’s largest passenger plane, an Airbus A380 on route to London from Australia, was forced to make an emergency landing on Thursday morning after one of the passengers fell ill.
Sources say that an emergency landing was declared by the pilot of Flight QFA 1 – an Airbus A380 operated by Australian airlines Qantas – and the plane landed safely at 6.10am. Ambulances were put on standby at the runway as the huge airliner came in to land at Larnaca Airport.
A 60-year-old passenger was then rushed to Larnaca General Hospital before the plane took off to continue its course for London Heathrow. The passenger’s condition is not said to be serious and is expected to depart for London on a different flight.
The plane was carrying around 500 passengers and crew members after taking off from Sydney via Dubai.
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by Airbus.
It is the world’s largest passenger airliner, and the airports at which it operates have upgraded facilities to accommodate it. It was initially named Airbus A3XX and designed to challenge Boeing’s monopoly in the large-aircraft market.
The A380’s upper deck extends along the entire length of the fuselage, with a width equivalent to a wide-body aircraft.
This gives the A380-800’s cabin 550 square metres (5,920 sq ft) of usable floor space, 40% more than the next largest airliner, the Boeing 747-8, and provides seating for 525 people in a typical three-class configuration or up to 853 people in an all-economy class configuration.