The nature of the emergency is currently unclear

By Harry Leach and Ben Bloch Live News Reporter

An Airbus Beluga aircraft made an emergency landing in Birmingham this afternoon (March 3). Images shared online show the unique aircraft surrounded by emergency vehicles.

The nature of the emergency is currently unknown, but it was understood to be en-route to Hawarden Airport, near Chester, from Madrid. It landed in Birmingham at around 1.20pm.

Plane-spotters online were eagerly following the plane’s course. The aircraft type first entered service in the 1990s and is unique for being whale-shaped.

The Airbus Beluga is clearly one-of-a-kind and is used to transport large and oversized goods. Airbus itself uses it to transport parts for its own aircraft that do not fit on regular planes.

Airbus – which has a key base in Bristol – brought the plane into service in the 1990s and a new and improved model, the BelugaXL, had its first flight in January 2020.

Twitter users in Birmingham were following the path of the plane and noticed that emergency services were present when it landed, Birmingham Live reports. One wrote on Twitter: “About six months ago, I found out the Airbus Beluga existed and spent three days giggling about it because it looked ridiculous, and it made me happy. Now I see this absolute unit is being followed by firetrucks after an emergency landing. Stay safe.”

Photos from the scene show that emergency services accompanied the aircraft after it landed. Birmingham Airport said that the fire service attended “as a precaution”.

In a statement, a Birmingham Airport spokesperson said: “Birmingham Airport’s Fire and Rescue team were on hand for the aircraft’s arrival as it diverted into the airport this afternoon.

“The aircraft landed safely, and as a precaution, our on-site fire service was in attendance.”