Flight DL200 is a regular Delta Air Lines service between Atlanta and Johannesburg. Image: Pixabay

Johannesburg-bound flight from US makes emergency landing

A Delta Air Lines plane en route to Johannesburg declared an emergency shortly after taking off from Atlanta, USA.


Flight DL200 is a regular Delta Air Lines service between Atlanta and Johannesburg. Image: Pixabay

Delta Air Lines flight DL200 – a regular service between Atlanta and Johannesburg – experienced an emergency soon after take-off, it was reported by Aviation Source News on Thursday.

The incident, which happened earlier in the week, involved aircraft N519DN – a relatively new Airbus A350-900 model.

This plane was delivered to Delta in December 2022 and is only one and half years old, according to Planespotters.net.

Delta Air Lines has 30 such Airbus A350-900s in its fleet, that are all actively in service.

What happened?

DL200 departed Atlanta, Georgia at 22:10 local time on 27 May, bound for Johannesburg. Shortly after take-off however, the aircraft entered a series of significant holding patterns south of the airport.

A holding pattern is a maneuver performed by the aircraft in which it flies in a racetrack-shaped course while awaiting further instructions from air traffic control.

After 80 minutes in the air, the Delta A350 plane managed to land safely back at Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

What caused the emergency?

The Aviation Herald reports that the emergency on Delta flight DL200 was due to a loss of automation – including the autopilot and autothrust systems – which are critical for maintaining altitude and speed while the plane is climbing.

The crew subsequently issued a “MAYDAY” call to air traffic control.

Upon landing, it was reported that the aircraft had to be towed off the runway due to hot brakes. Passengers disembarked the plane safely and without incident.

At the time of publishing, data indicated that the aircraft had remained grounded since the emergency landing. It was scheduled to operate the DL200 service to Johannesburg again later on Thursday, depending on whether the automation issues had been resolved in time.

Low-cost airline opens new direct flight from Cape Town to London

In other aviation news, Norse Atlantic recently unveiled its maiden African route, connecting London Gatwick with Cape Town International Airport.

Scheduled to commence Cape Town operations at the end of October, the airline aims to tap into the popular winter leisure market.

This is a strategic move in a season traditionally challenging for airlines, especially long-haul low-cost carriers.

Norse Atlantic Airways AS is a Norwegian low-cost, long-haul airline headquartered in Arendal, Norway.

Founded in February 2021, the airline operates a fleet of Boeing 787 aircraft between Europe, North America, Asia and now Africa.

The new route covers a distance of 9 607km, making it Norse’s longest service to date. Operating three times a week with Boeing 787-9 aircraft, this route represents a significant expansion for the airline.