08 September 2010

Smelly Diversion

Smelly luggage may have forced a flight from Invercargill to Christchurch to divert to Dunedin in the second incident involving a mysterious smell on an Air New Zealand Christchurch-Invercargill service. The ATR72 carrying 43 passengers landed without incident at Dunedin International Airport after a malodorous smell was detected in the cabin high in the sky above Otago on Monday. Its source was still unknown: the smell dissipated before engineers carried out their inspection, airline spokeswoman Lara Harrison confirmed yesterday. The ATR's hold was behind the galley, so the smell may have come from baggage stowed there. The aircraft was cleaned to eliminate whatever caused the smell before returning to service. The incident followed another on July 9, when a burning smell forced a Mount Cook Airlines ATR72 to divert to Dunedin. The aircraft, which was carrying 53 passengers, landed safely. Ms Harrison yesterday described the smell as "an electrical burning smell" but confirmed its source was still unknown. Air New Zealand, which owns Mount Cook Airlines, had no plans to check all its ATR72s in light of both smell-related incidents, she said. Neither did it want to remind passengers to be careful what they packed in their luggage.

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