A United Airlines Boeing 767, which made an emergency landing en route from Washington to Moscow on an island of the Azores in the mid-Atlantic on Wednesday, should reach its destination on Thursday, a passenger told RIA Novosti.
The Russian Federal Air Transportation Agency said on Wednesday the passenger plane made an emergency landing on the island of Terceira due to technical failures, but did not say when the landing took place or how many passengers were on board.
"From the very beginning of the flight there were problems with the video system that shows films and other entertainment programs [on board]," Pavel Chesnokov, a passenger on the flight, said, adding that "passengers sitting at the back of the plane noticed a slight smell of smoke."
During the flight, the pilot announced to passengers that the smell on board was from the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano, Chesnokov said.
Chesnokov said Flight 964 from Washington Dulles airport was originally delayed for five hours due to bad weather. The flight was further delayed when European air traffic controllers gave flights to Paris and Brussels first prerogative for take off. Because of the length of delays, the entire flight crew was changed.
Chesnokov said the pilot later told passengers that they would be making an emergency landing on an island, however did not specify which one.
"They started dumping fuel right before the landing," he said.
The plane landed at the Terceira Das Lajes Airport in the Azores and the passengers were taken to the waiting terminal. Since the Azores are the territory of Portugal, only a small number of passengers with EU citizenship or valid Schengen visas were then taken by bus to a hotel. The remainder, mostly Russians, was required to remain in the terminal for eight-nine hours before paperwork was completed to allow them to leave the terminal, Chesnokov said.
He said passengers were not given any food or beverages during the waiting period and the small bar inside the transit terminal was "wiped out in minutes."
The flight is scheduled to leave Terceira for Moscow on Thursday afternoon.
MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti)